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Steven Isserlis & Robert Levin 1

Beethoven’s complete works for cello and fortepiano

‘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

Steven Isserlis

Robert Levin

23 August 2016

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book or watch. The 2021 programme will be announced in June.