VIVAT120

Mendelssohn: The Cello Sonatas

Mendelssohn: The Cello Sonatas

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Following her much-acclaimed release for Vivat of Bach’s Six Cello Suites (VIVAT 107), the distinguished Dutch cellist Viola de Hoog turns her attention to two more masterworks, Mendelssohn’s cello sonatas.

With a lifetime spent performing chamber and solo repertoire on period instruments, de Hoog is an ideal, passionate exponent for this music, bringing performances that encapsulate the composer’s sense of refined virtuosity. Effervescent in their outer movements, lyrical and whimsical in their inner sections, Mendelssohn intended his cello sonatas to show complete parity between piano and cello. 

De Hoog is partnered by the astonishing Armenian pianist Mikayel Balyan, who plays an 1847 piano made by Mendelssohn’s favourite maker, Érard. The combination of this fine instrument with Balyan’s sensitive musicianship brings a rainbow of sonorities and colours. Mendelssohn’s virtuosic piano writing, with its joyous cascades of notes, has rarely been heard with such clarity on an original instrument.

The release also includes the first recording on period instruments of Mendelssohn’s own arrangement of his famous Trio in D minor, Op.49, re-scored for flute, cello and piano: de Hoog and Balyan are joined by eminent Dutch flautist Marten Root. One of the staples of nineteenth-century chamber music is heard in completely new colours.  

The recording was made in the historic church in Bunnik, Netherlands, used for dozens of period instrument recordings over the years by engineer Adriaan Verstijnen, who beautifully captures the varied colours of this most exquisite of music. 

Extensive presentation includes 44 page booklet with authoritative liner note in four languages by Mendelssohn expert Prof R Larry Todd, together with five pages of artist photographs.

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Track Composer Title Duration Play
1 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in D, Op. 58 :
Allegro assai vivace
8’50  
2 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in D, Op. 58 :
Allegretto scherzando
5’52  
3 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in D, Op. 58 :
Adagio
5’37  
4 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in D, Op. 58 :
Molto allegro e vivace
7’35  
5 Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 :
Molto allegro agitato
9’16  
6 Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 :
Andante con moto tranquillo
5’56  
7 Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 :
Scherzo – Leggiero e vivace
3’52  
8 Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 :
Finale – Allegro assai appassionato
8’12  
9 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in B flat, Op. 45 :
Allegro vivace
9’19  
10 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in B flat, Op. 45 :
Andante
5’35  
11 Mendelssohn Cello sonata in B flat, Op. 45 :
Allegro assai
6’46  
    Total 76’50  
Download CD booklet (PDF)

“Another showcase for de Hoog’s lyrical playing”
(Fanfare)

“This enterprising disc”
(The Sunday Times)

“Refined virtuosity, unanimous reciprocity and subtle musicality”
(The Strad)

Lightness and passion, character and charm
(Planet Hugill)

VIVAT 120
Mendelssohn: The Cello Sonatas

Viola de Hoog cello
Marten Root flute
Mikayel Balyan piano (Érard, 1847)

Cello Sonata in D major, Op. 58
Trio in D minor, Op. 49 *
Cello Sonata in B flat, Op. 45

* first recording on period instruments of Mendelssohn’s own arrangement for flute, cello and piano