‘There is no more powerful figure in the history of the arts,’ says Steven Isserlis of Ludwig van Beethoven.
In a special two-concert International Festival residency, the eminent cellist, writer and teacher performs the complete works for cello and keyboard by Beethoven, joined by the dramatic fortepianist and scholar Robert Levin.
Spanning Beethoven’s entire creative life, the cello sonatas chart the composer’s remarkable journey from Classical master to otherworldly mystic in his late music of unearthly beauty. Isserlis and Levin – both renowned for their highly intelligent interpretations – have been performing the Beethoven sonatas together since 2004, to enormous acclaim, and released a benchmark recording of them in 2014.
For the first of their two recitals, they contrast the flashy keyboard pyrotechnics of the early Cello Sonata in F Op 5 No 1 with the dazzling lyricism of the A major Sonata Op 69, by way of Beethoven’s joyful sets of humorous variations on themes by Handel and Mozart.
This concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
Steven Isserlis Cello
Robert Levin Fortepiano
Beethoven Variations on ‘See the Conquering Hero Comes’ from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus Wo0 45
Beethoven Cello Sonata in F Op 5 No 1
Beethoven Variations on ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’ from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Beethoven Horn Sonata Op 17 (transcribed for cello by Beethoven)
Beethoven Cello Sonata in A major Op 69
More information about some of the artists