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Discussion: Brahms: Sonatas and Songs - Kleinhapl, Woyke

Posts: 4

Post by Windsurfer March 4, 2009 (1 of 4)
With John Miller's enthusiastic recommendation, I probably will find myself buying this.

On the other hand I am puzzled - a baroque 'cello to play Brahms? I really always have thought of Brahms as pretty much of a romantic period composer. Yes he was influenced by Beethoven to a great extent - but then isn't Beethoven's music thought of as transitional between the romantic and the classic periods?

And yes, Berlioz, Bruckner and Mahler to mention only a few, may be "more" Romantic, but does that make Brahms less Romantic? The idea of a Baroque 'Cello for Brahms seems curious to me.

Post by krisjan March 4, 2009 (2 of 4)
Lots of modern players use old instruments. I don't see any mention of using "historical performance practice" in Miller's review nor of gut strings or unusual tuning. I assume he's simply using an old instrument with modern strings/tuning (as do the majority of players on old instruments these days).

Post by Geohominid March 4, 2009 (3 of 4)
The cello was strung with modern strings - it may well have had "updatings" too, such as reducing the neck length. The cello is part of a major collection of instruments held by the Austrian National Bank and was presented on loan to Kleinhapl in 1998 after winning a competition judged by members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He now has a different cello from the same source. Musicians rarely threw away a good old instrument which still did the job - even in Mozart's time, for example, some gambas were still used in many orchestras until they were gradually replaced by cellos and basses. In the early 1860's when the Brahms 1st cello sonata was written, most strings were still gut and playing practices were similar to Beethoven's day, including the sparing use of vibrato, brisk tempi and short phrases, and this applied into the early C20th.

I enjoyed the readings of the Austrian-based duo so much that I look forward to their new offering - Beethoven cello sonatas.

Regards,
John

Post by Windsurfer March 5, 2009 (4 of 4)
Geohominid said:

The cello was strung with modern strings - it may well have had "updatings" too, such as reducing the neck length. The cello is part of a major collection of instruments held by the Austrian National Bank and was presented on loan to Kleinhapl in 1998 after winning a competition judged by members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He now has a different cello from the same source. Musicians rarely threw away a good old instrument which still did the job - even in Mozart's time, for example, some gambas were still used in many orchestras until they were gradually replaced by cellos and basses. In the early 1860's when the Brahms 1st cello sonata was written, most strings were still gut and playing practices were similar to Beethoven's day, including the sparing use of vibrato, brisk tempi and short phrases, and this applied into the early C20th.

I enjoyed the readings of the Austrian-based duo so much that I look forward to their new offering - Beethoven cello sonatas.

Regards,
John

Now you've sold me completely!

Closed