Brahms: Cello Sonatas & Songs

Antonio Meneses, Gerard Wyss

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Format: CD

Cat No: AV2493

Release Date:  03 June 2022

Label:  Avie

Packaging Type:  Jewel Case

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  0822252249323

Genres:  Classical  Chamber Music  

  • Description

    This year, legendary cellist Antonio Meneses celebrates his 60th birthday and the 40th anniversary of winning first prize and the gold medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition. Shortly after that triumph Antonio made a renowned recording of Brahms' Double Concerto with conductor Herbert von Karajan. He revisits the composer's music on his 11th recording for AVIE and his first of Brahms' two cello sonatas, generously paired with a selection of lieder arrangements.

    Antonio mines Brahms' baritonal sound world, extracting the full expressive range of the cello. Similar qualities infuse a selection of seven Lieder in arrangements that sound so effective on the cello that one cannot help but wonder whether somewhere in the back of his mind Brahms had the sound of the instrument – he was, after all, an accomplished player in his youth, and it would remain central to his chamber music output throughout his life.

    Born in Recife, Brazil, in 1957 into a family of musicians, Antonio Meneses began his cello studies at the age of ten. At 16, he met the famous Italian cellist Antonio Janigro and was asked to join Janigro's classes in Düsseldorf and later in Stuttgart. He won the first Prize at the 1977 ARD International Competition in Munich and was awarded First Prize and Gold Medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The year of the present album (2022) marks his 65th birthday and the 40th and 45th anniversaries of his Tchaikovsky and ARD wins. Appearing in the music capitals of Europe, the Americas and Asia, Antonio Meneses performs with most of the world's leading orchestras (in Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, Prague, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Munich, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Tokyo). Among the conductors with whom he has collaborated are Claudio Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Neeme Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti, Eiji Oue, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kurt Sanderling, Yuri Temirkanov and Christian Thielemann. A devoted chamber musician, Antonio Meneses was a member of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio between October 1998 and September 2008. He has collaborated with the Vermeer Quartet on tour and gives chamber music concerts and duo recitals with pianists such as Menahem Pressler and Maria Joao Pires. As a recording artist, Antonio Meneses has made two recordings for Deutsche Grammophon with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Brahms's Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Richard Strauss's Don Quixote). He has released the complete works for cello by Villa-Lobos (Auvidis France and BIS), David Popper and C.P.E. Bach (Pan Records). For AVIE Records, his recordings include J.S. Bach's Six Cello Suites, the complete works for cello and piano by Schubert and Schumann with Gérard Wyss; a Beethoven album with Menahem Pressler; Haydn's Cello Concertos and the Concertino by Clovis Pereira with the Royal Northern Sinfonia; and a recording of Elgar and Gál Cello Concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Claudio Cruz, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for 'Best Classical Instrumental Solo'. In addition to his busy concert schedule, Antonio Meneses regularly gives masterclasses in Europe (Madrid: Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, Siena: Accademia Musicale Chigiana), the Americas (Domaine Forget) and Japan (Tokyo University) and has taught at the Bern Conservatory since 2008.

    Gerard Wyss studied with Paul Baumgartner at the Music Academy in Basle, where he now teaches Lied interpretation and chamber music for graduate soloists. His preference for playing in partnership turned into a vocation, and soon he was playing with Pierre Fournier and Arthur Grumiaux. Today he is in great demand as an accompanist and chamber musician, performing in venues all over Europe, Canada, the USA and in Japan. His song partners include Edith Mathis, Cecilia Bartoli, Nicolai Gedda, Wolfgang Holzmair and Georg Nigl. Many instrumentalists appreciate his experience and sensitivity in chamber music, among them cellists Heinrich Schiff and Antonio Meneses, and violinist Raphaël Oleg. Gerard Wyss is a regular guest at international festivals including Salzburg, Montreux, Stresa, Lucerne and Berlin. He has also taken part in numerous recordings for radio and record companies (Denon, Novalis, Pan Classics, Philips, Tudor).

    "[a] well-planned and spontaneous sounding recording…Antonio Meneses and Gerard Wyss show a collegial ease together with natural and unaffected phrasing" – BBC Music Magazine

    "This new Avie recording is certainly worth hearing, not least for Meneses's glorious tone and Wyss's sometimes revelatory insights" - Gramophone

    "Contemplative Brahms from a Brazilian master ... refined, expressive and full of easy charm ... all played with tender loving care" – The Strad

    "This recording boasts some of the most beautiful cello playing I have heard in years" - BBC Music Magazine on Schumann & Schubert (AV2112)

    "He's a true virtuoso, as the fast passages in the Arpeggione and the third of the Märchenbilder amply demonstrate" -Disc of the Month: Gramophone on Schumann & Schubert (AV2112)

    "...a performance that has been crafted down to the tiniest detail, the swirling finale in particular confident and polished" - Gramophone on Cassado & Kodály (AV2351)

    AV0052 Bach: Six Cello Suites (2CD)
    AV2103 Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello and Piano (2CD)
    AV2112 Schubert, Schumann: Works for Cello and Piano
    AV2140 Mendelssohn: Complete Music for Cello and Piano
    AV2162 Soirées Internationales
    AV2176 Haydn: Cello Concertos, Pereira: Concertino for Cello
    AV2237 Elgar, Gál: Cello Concertos
    AV2328 Capriccioso
    AV2351 Works by Cassadó, Kodaly
    AV2373 Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Tchaikovsky

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38: I. Allegro non troppo
      • 2. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38: II. Allegretto quasi menuetto
      • 3. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38: III. Allegro
      • 4. Brahms: Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86, No. 2 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 5. Brahms: Wie Melodien zieht es mir leise durch den Sinn, Op. 105 No. 1 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 6. Brahms: Sapphische Ode, Op. 94, No. 4 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 7. Brahms: Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 8. Brahms: Liebestreu, Op. 3, No. 1 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 9. Brahms: Minnelied, Op. 71, No. 5 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 10. Brahms: Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Op. 105, No. 2 (arr for Cello & Piano by Salter/Geringas)
      • 11. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99: I. Allegro non troppo
      • 12. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99: II. Adagio affetuoso
      • 13. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99: III. Allegro passionato
      • 14. Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99: IV. Allegro molto