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Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Music for Cello and Piano - Volume 3
Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Op.102/1 (1815)
Cello Sonata No. 5 in D Op.102/2 (1815)
Twelve Variations on "See here the conqu’ring hero comes" from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus WoO45
Duet in E flat for viola and cello WoO32 Duet with two obbligato eyeglasses
Maria Kliegel (cello)
Nina Tichman (Piano)
Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
Recorded. Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, February 2003; March 2004
NAXOS 8.555787 [58:47]


This is the last volume in Kliegel’s Beethoven sonata series for Naxos. I like the way in which she catches the gruffness and suddenness of the attacks in the Allegro vivace section of the first movement of the C major. Some cellists are inclined to smooth over the startling eruptions here but not Kliegel, for whom forte attacks are just that. Her accenting keeps the line quivering with expectation and even her lower strings, which are sometimes apt to be boomy, are gruffly engaged. She is not afraid, either, of sacrificing tone in the interests of dramatic projection, which becomes clear in the Adagio of the same sonata where her serious and meditative approach is accompanied by a slightly hoarse colouristic sense. Throughout I found her always alive to the pressing question of characterisation in these works and the most appropriate ways in which to get across the array of moods and lyric moments that lie embedded within the sonatas.

This isn’t to imply small scale playing; actually Kliegel and Tichman take a big view of the D major – strong but subtle - and aren’t afraid to dig into the slow movement (marked sentimento d’affetto after all). The Judas Maccabeus variations are wryly done and in the Eyeglass duet Kliegel is joined by a formidable colleague, Tabea Zimmermann. Their tonal blend is rich and their ensemble watertight without seeming over stressed. Their control, rhythmic and structural, in the tricky Allegro (nearly nine minutes here) is never threatened.

Purchasers of the previous two volumes can add this to their collection with confidence. Good sound and budget price – sympathetically played and mature music making.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Patrick Waller

Link to review of Volume 1:
Link to review of Volume 2:
Link to review of Harrell/Ashkenazy recording:

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