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Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax|Hope Amid Tears - Beethoven Cello Sonatas

Hope Amid Tears - Beethoven Cello Sonatas

Emanuel Ax & Yo-Yo Ma

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Fourty years on from his first release of this complete collection, cellist Yo-Yo Ma has become a venerable, white-haired gent, as has the pianist Emanuel Ax. "Hope Amid Tears" is the title of their new album, which they recorded at Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, Massachusetts. And hope certainly was in high demand in August 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was ravaging the world, and the USA in particular. And what could be more hopeful than Beethoven's humanist message?

The Five Sonatas for Cello and Piano (for piano with cello accompaniment for the first two, in fact) are drawn from three different periods of Beethoven's artistic evolution. The first two are still rooted in the eighteenth century, and represent the first important works of the classical period. The Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69, then sees the cello's horizon broaden. The instrument sets itself free, and really speaks in the first person. It is presently joined by the piano, in a style that mirrors great contemporary works such as the Fifth Symphony, the "Pastorale" Symphony, the Coriolan Overture and the "Razumovsky" Quartets.  The musical discourse is syncopated; the dialogue resembles a conversation between two people who are taking it in turns to get worked up into a passion.

The last two Sonatas, Op. 102 date from a difficult time in the composer's life, when he was unwell and increasingly isolated by his deafness. These were fallow years where his productivity and creative energies seemed to be flagging. The more involved and inaccessible fugal writing style rendered many works from this period difficult to understand. The firm friendship and longstanding musical partnership between Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax have shaped this new recording. The musicians speak the same language, with the same intentions and the same phrasing, and their performance is enriched by their experience and maturity. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Hope Amid Tears - Beethoven Cello Sonatas

Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax

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Sonata No.1 in F Major, Op. 5 No. 1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Adagio sostenuto - Allegro
Yo-Yo Ma
00:18:23

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

2
II. Rondo: Allegro Vivace
Yo-Yo Ma
00:07:34

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

Sonata No.2 in g minor, Op. 5 No. 2 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

3
I. Adagio sostenuto e espressivo - Allegro molto piu tosto presto
Yo-Yo Ma
00:16:35

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

4
II. Rondo: Allegro
Yo-Yo Ma
00:09:37

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

DISC 2

Sonata No.3 in A Major, Op. 69 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro ma non tanto
Yo-Yo Ma
00:13:31

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

2
II. Scherzo
Yo-Yo Ma
00:05:29

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

3
III. Adagio cantabile - Allegro vivace
Yo-Yo Ma
00:09:01

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

Sonata No.4 in C Major, Op. 102 No.1 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

4
I. Andante - Allegro vivace
Yo-Yo Ma
00:08:43

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

5
II. Adagio - Allegro vivace
Yo-Yo Ma
00:08:11

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

Sonata No.5 in D Major, Op. 102 No. 2 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

6
I. Allegro con brio
Yo-Yo Ma
00:06:56

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

7
II. Adagio con molto sentimento d'affetto
Yo-Yo Ma
00:09:38

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

8
III. Allegro
Yo-Yo Ma
00:04:47

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

DISC 3

1
7 Variations on "Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen", WoO 46
Yo-Yo Ma
00:09:22

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

2
12 Variations on a Theme from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, WoO 45
Yo-Yo Ma
00:14:00

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

3
12 Variations in F major on "Ein Madchen oder Weibchen", Op.66
Yo-Yo Ma
00:10:43

Emanuel Ax, Piano - Yo-Yo Ma, Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

(P) 2021 Sound Postings LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

Fourty years on from his first release of this complete collection, cellist Yo-Yo Ma has become a venerable, white-haired gent, as has the pianist Emanuel Ax. "Hope Amid Tears" is the title of their new album, which they recorded at Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, Massachusetts. And hope certainly was in high demand in August 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was ravaging the world, and the USA in particular. And what could be more hopeful than Beethoven's humanist message?

The Five Sonatas for Cello and Piano (for piano with cello accompaniment for the first two, in fact) are drawn from three different periods of Beethoven's artistic evolution. The first two are still rooted in the eighteenth century, and represent the first important works of the classical period. The Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69, then sees the cello's horizon broaden. The instrument sets itself free, and really speaks in the first person. It is presently joined by the piano, in a style that mirrors great contemporary works such as the Fifth Symphony, the "Pastorale" Symphony, the Coriolan Overture and the "Razumovsky" Quartets.  The musical discourse is syncopated; the dialogue resembles a conversation between two people who are taking it in turns to get worked up into a passion.

The last two Sonatas, Op. 102 date from a difficult time in the composer's life, when he was unwell and increasingly isolated by his deafness. These were fallow years where his productivity and creative energies seemed to be flagging. The more involved and inaccessible fugal writing style rendered many works from this period difficult to understand. The firm friendship and longstanding musical partnership between Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax have shaped this new recording. The musicians speak the same language, with the same intentions and the same phrasing, and their performance is enriched by their experience and maturity. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Details of original recording : Recorded August 2020, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lennox (Massachusets, USA)

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