Brahms: Cello Sonatas & 6 Songs
Label: haenssler CLASSIC
Format: COMPACT DISC
Hagen, Julia; Treutler, Annika
One of the underlying principles of Johannes Brahms’s works is the way the composer creatively engages with a range of musical traditions, from the old German folk song through the madrigal to Viennese Classicism and the Romanticism of the likes of Schumann and Mendelssohn. This tendency has at times led to Brahms being labelled a “conservative”. During the second half of the 19th century, a period that saw Richard Wagner’s music drama and Franz Liszt’s symphonic poems keep the German music scene on tenterhooks, Brahms continued to fly the flag for chamber music in the Classical tradition. Two works from this field are presented on this recording: the two sonatas for cello and piano (interestingly, they were originally called sonatas for “piano and cello” like Beethoven’s sonatas op. 69 and op. 102). In both works, Brahms ingeniously and steadfastly continues the Classical tradition and enriches it with new ideas. What is once again evident here is how the composer contrives to align each of his works with the character of the performing instruments. In the sonatas, Brahms primarily draws on deep, baritonal registers, both in lyrical passages and at dramatic, energetic moments.