Torleif Thedéen and Roland Pöntinen made their first recording together almost 25 years ago and have continued to play together ever since, in recital and on disc. They have recorded works by Prokofiev and Anton Webern, by Shostakovich and Hindemith, by Chopin and Schumann. Now the turn has come to Johannes Brahms' two cello sonatas, central works in the repertoire of all cellists and often on the programme when this particular team gives a recital. Brahms himself was an excellent pianist, and among the string instruments he felt a particular affinity with the cello. Both of these facts are obvious from the sonatas that he wrote for the combination - the two most important works in the genre after Beethoven. Included on this amply filled disc (more than 80 minutes of music!) is also a version for cello of Brahm's Violin Sonata in G major Op.78. For a long time it was considered to be the composer's own arrangement, but it is now known to have been made in 1897 by Paul Klengel, an acquaintance of Brahms' and brother of the famous cellist Julius Klengel. The previous disc by Thedéen and Pöntinen was an all-Schnittke programme, released in 2007 to great acclaim: 'Thedéen's playing is wonderfully expressive - focused, clean, beautifully voiced.' wrote the reviewer in International Record Review. Naming the disc a 'benchmark recording', his colleague in BBC Music Magazine described the performers as a partnership 'in a class of its own', which the reviewer in the German magazine Fono Forum thoroughly agreed with, calling them 'a duo of unusual expressive powers.'
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