Erich Höbarth, Alexander Rudin, Aapo Häkkinen – Schubert Chamber Works (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:19:50 minutes | 1,42 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Naxos
Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata may these days be firmly established in the cello repertoire, but the instrument for which Schubert originally intended it was of course its namesake – a curious and now-defunct six-stringed creation, played with a bow, that although fretted and tuned like a guitar, resembled a cello and was played vertically; and whose distinctive, feathery soft, stringy timbre sounds very much like a blend between those two instruments. Inevitably, actual arpeggione performances of this work are as rare as hens’ teeth, meaning the major draw of this particular offering from Russian cellist and historical performance expert Alexander Rudin is the fact that he’s on the actual instrument. So when you add the pretty delicacy of Aapo Häkkinen’s fortepiano, in timbre tones alone this is a very attractive recording; and for a moment where those already-ear-pricking timbres combine with the resonant acoustic to especially lovely effect, head to the first movement’s pizzicato writing.
Equally attractively delicate is their actual reading of the Sonata. Also distinctive, because the rubato-rich language from both musicians has lent a very pronounced degree of whimsical Romance to proceedings. In the first movement this mostly consists of slight hesitations before tipping onto an important note in a phrase, but one could argue that, for the closing Allegretto’s theme, their decidedly fluid push and pull has actually entirely altered the rhythm. Still, whether you agree or not with that decision of theirs, ultimately you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be seduced by the poetry of the rest.
Rudin then switches to cello for the Piano Trio No. 2, for which the pair are joined by violinist Erich Höbarth, and their resultant ringing, slender-toned, silver-timbred, dynamically-varied performance fully delivers on Schubertian bitter sweetness. © Charlotte Gardner
01. Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, D. 821: I. Allegro moderato
02. Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, D. 821: II. Adagio
03. Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, D. 821: III. Allegretto
04. Piano Trio No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 100, D. 929: I. Allegro
05. Piano Trio No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 100, D. 929: II. Andante con moto
06. Piano Trio No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 100, D. 929: III. Scherzando. Allegro moderato
07. Piano Trio No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 100, D. 929: IV. Allegro moderato