Beethoven, Franck: Sonatas Arranged for Cello and Piano

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These are not modern arrangements of two classic violin sonatas but classic examples of the art of transcriptions, made by two superb French cellists in the last half of the 19th century. They cater less for the demand of amateur musicians for repertoire for domestic music-making – even in their originals, the sonatas lie somewhere beyond the technical level of all but the most accomplished performers – but for the growing number of professional cellists who sought more than showpieces for their recitals yet were understandably frustrated by the lack of substantial contributions to the cello repertoire by composers of their time.

The greatest Parisian cellist of his day, August Franchomme, arranged the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata in 1867. It is among Beethoven’s most ambitious pieces of chamber music, symphonic in scale. Reportedly, the first transcription for the cello was made by Carl Czerny, at the request of Beethoven himself. However, Czerny considerably simplified the most important virtuoso passages that had made this sonata a piece for seasoned musicians. Franchomme also made certain adaptations, inevitable when transcribing a piece of this complexity for a lower instrument, but he retained its sense of thrill and danger.

Composer :César Auguste Franck, Ludwig van Beethoven
Artist: Roberto Trainini (cello)
Christiano Burato (piano)

00:00:00 Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47: I. Adagio sostenuto. Presto
00:14:13 Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47: II. Andante con variazioni
00:30:13 Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47: III. Finale. Presto
00:39:44 Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: I. Allegretto ben moderato
00:46:04 Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: II. Allegro
00:54:32 Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: III. Recitativo-Fantasia. Ben moderato
01:02:02 Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: IV. Allegretto poco mosso

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