Classical Album of the Week: Romantic Works for Cello and Piano
August 13, 2018. On their new album, Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev and Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen combine their artistry in three ultra-Romantic works. Released this summer, Chopin, Schumann and Grieg features their interpretation of sonatas by Chopin and Grieg, and Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 73.
Segev and Pohjonen shine brightly in Frédéric Chopin’s Cello Sonata in G minor, written at the end of Chopin’s career, and one of the few works he produced that was not for solo piano.
Puhjonen’s stellar pianistic skill—pearly tone, virtuosic brilliance, and gorgeous phrasing—is matched by Segev’s soulful, majestic lines. Her 1673 Ruggieri cello especially sings in the Largo movement, a beautiful example of Chopin’s love of bel canto.
The recording brings out the relationship between late Chopin and the music of Robert Schumann. Segev and Pohjonen explore this surprisingly close connection in Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, written in 1849 for clarinet and piano, and translated here with nuance and passion.
Finally, Segev and Pohjonen show loving attention to Edvard Grieg’s rarely heard Cello Sonata in A minor, convincingly emphasizing its folk elements and drama.
Recorded with refinement at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York by engineer Da-Hong Seetoo, our Album of the Week will compel you to listen with all your attention.