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Order number B 108 086
Views from Ararat: Hartmann, Oganesjan
Raphaela Gromes & Julian Riem: Violoncello sonatas


Price EUR 15,50

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Richard Strauss
Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in F major, op. 6 and Romance in F major,
AV 75

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in D major, op. 58 (1843)

Raphaela Gromes, violoncello
Julian Riem, piano

Live-Recording of the prizewinner’s concert at the Richard-Strauss-Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
May 2012

(German, English)
· texts
· biographies
Two early pieces by Richard Strauss and a work from Mendelssohn's maturity

“My sonata pleased the audience immensely, and it received colossal applause. I was congratulated from all sides, and everyone was of the same opinion,” Richard Strauss proudly wrote to his parents on 19 December 1883 after the work's first performance. Strauss started work on his only cello sonata in 1881 at the age of 17, completing it two years later. By then, he had already done a lot of composing – like Mendelssohn Bartholdy, he was very much a child prodigy. In fact, Mendelssohn's influence can be clearly heard in Strauss's early works, as here in the Finale of the Cello Sonata: it recalls the lightness of A Midsummer Night's Dream or the playfulness of the piano piece Rondo Capriccioso.

In the “Romance” – originally composed for cello and orchestra – Strauss displays the same free and innovative use of form that he does in the sonata: sonata form, rondo and Lied blend to create an unfettered, associative structure that unfolds unconventionally, while still possessing musical and narrative coherence and tension.

Unlike the two youthful works by Richard Strauss, Mendelssohn's Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 58, is the product of a mature 32-year-old. Mendelssohn laboured over his Cello Sonata for more than two years. The result is an extraordinarily expansive work that, with its four long movements, goes far beyond the constraints of earlier chamber-music works.

The Duo Gromes/Riem was founded in 2012. The two musicians share a passionate approach to music and an intuitive understanding of their partner's musical intentions. This allows them to shape the music freely at all times in an act of re-creation. Even in the technically and musically most demanding passages, they display a mutual harmony, a joy in taking the initiative and making way for the initiative of the other, and a shared involvement in the musical narrative – all hallmarks of a true duo.
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"The very young cellist Raphaela Gromes is one of the finest and most intensive musical talents that I have come across in a long time," Brigitte Fassbaender said after the 2012 Richard-Strauss-Competition, from which Raphaela Gromes emerged as the winner.