Nicholas Yonge Society

  International Chamber Music in Lewes

26th February 2016

Beethoven Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor
Bruch Kol Nidrei
Joseph Phipps Sonatine (2011)
Rachmaninov Cello Sonata

JAR & SC in performance 

A chilly evening brought out an audience who were warmed by a couple of young, dedicated musicians in a programme which did not demand concentrated intellectual acuity on our part.  In the Beethoven Cello Sonata in Gmin., op.5 no.2, the cellist started pensively but both instruments soon came out of the clouds, and developed into the dramatists that Beethoven would have expected.  Cello tone was often lovely if somewhat subdued – personally I blame the imbalance on the open piano lid which tended to overwhelm it.  The pianist took up the invitation to be brilliant in the last movement, whereas the cello shone in the contemplative passages.

The Joseph Phibbs Sonatine encouraged greater resonance and some amazingly controlled ppp.  The pianist’s role in the second movement was to decorate the cello line, and the final movement, for cello alone, contrasted melodic phrases with their transformation into cadenza-like brilliance and sonority.

Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, with its two memorable and melancholy melodies, brought out the most sonorous and sensual capabilities of the cellist, delicate or passionate as needed.

Sonority and passion are paramount in the Cello Sonata in Gmin, op.19, by Rachmaninov.  The second movement was particularly successful in both virtuoso and lyrical passages.  It showed the duo at their best, enjoying its full-blooded romanticism.


Reviewer: Janet Lovegrove
Photographer: David James