Sonatas for Piano and Cello (2007)


Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

Stately young, exuberantly mature and rebelliously old An early, a middle and a late Brahms? Yes and no. I could also say a novel, a letter and an epigram or Goethe, Thomas Mann and Schopenhauer; a symphony, a string quintet and a Lied or a beech, oleander and a bramble bush. Describing and characterizing is a hazardous business, descriptions can never be totally appropriate, clich's even less so. The pieces are simply too good, they even defy the young, middle and late stigmas. The diversity between the works is too complex and on top of that their inner diversities make any sort of labelling impossible. But they might become just a bit less elusive when placed in each others context. Acting as prisms in a play of emissions and reflections they might reveal some characteristics. So back to young, middle and late. The 'young' Brahms lets the first movement of his sonata soberly stroll along, patiently work up to climaxes and in grand and profound style sing out to its conclusion, resulting in a coda that evokes the twilight of a life. Sticking to first movements, in the opening movement of Opus 78 its one inspired melody after another, a real sequence of emotions. Its all superbly structured (as is all Brahms) but somehow the intimacy, tenderness, vulnerability and passion are not too unsimilar to the sentiments of an overwhelming first love experience. The style of the Allegro appassionato of Opus 120 is compact and on a motivic level everything is strictly organized. There is an 'Ernster Gesang' feeling, man dies as beasts, but that fatalism isn't dominant. A more exhilarating 'Ich grolle nicht' melody like the first cello line is hard to imagine, except for the Schumann original. And the many lyrical moments that follow are truly heartwarming

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Dejan Lazic

Pianist and composer Dejan Lazic was born into a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He is quickly establishing a reputation worldwide as “a brilliant pianist and a gifted musician full of ideas and able to project them persuasively” (Gramophone). The New York Times hailed his performance as “... full of poetic, shapely phrasing and vivid dynamic effects that made this music sound fresh, spontaneous and impassioned”. After a highly successful Edinburgh Festival recital, The Scotsman wrote recently: "Dejan Lazic shines like a new star!"

As recitalist and soloist with orchestra Dejan Lazic has appeared at major venues in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia, and has been invited to numerous international festivals, including the world-famous BBC Proms in summer 2011.

In Spring 2008 he gave his orchestral debuts at New York’s Lincoln Center with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer and at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Kirill Petrenko. He also gave highly successful recital debuts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Munich Prinzregententheater, Washington Kennedy Center, in Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing and in Istanbul. In Summer 2008 he performed Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto at the Beijing Great Hall of People in a televised pre-olympic gala concert for an audience of 7,000.

He also performed very successfully with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Giovanni Antonini, Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies under Robert Spano, Swedish Radio, Danish National, Indianapolis, and Sapporo Symphonies, as well as with the Seoul, Hong Kong, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras. In Winter 2010 he toured Spain with Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott.

Other orchestral engagements lead him to the BBC Symphony in London, BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh, SWR Symphony in Stuttgart, MDR Symphony in Leipzig, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Helsinki Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, and Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. With Basel Chamber Orchestra and Giovanni Antonini he performs on tour, among others, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Cologne Philharmonie, and Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts. From 2008/09 season Dejan Lazic is “Artist in Residence” with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam.

He also enjoys a growing following in the Far East to where he returned last season for a tour with NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements there include those with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (including concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall & Metropolitan Art Space), Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, NSO Taiwan, as well as a series of recitals throughout Japan and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China.

In November 2009 he toured Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti, including concerts at the world famous Sydney Opera House. In 2010/11 season he toured Europe, South America, and Asia with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer.

Alongside his solo career Dejan Lazic is also a passionate chamber musician.

He records exclusively for Channel Classics and has released a dozen of recordings so far. The 1st volume of his new "Liaisons" series with works by Scarlatti and Bartók was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim; the 2nd volume with a Schumann/Brahms programme was released in 2009, the 3rd volume with a C.P.E. Bach/Britten programme was released in 2011. In Fall 2008 he released a CD with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko playing Rachmaninov's famous 2nd Piano Concerto - a live recording that has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide and in addition it won the prestigious German Echo Klassik Award 2009. In February 2011 he released a disc featuring Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto which was recorded live in Sydney with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti.

Dejan Lazic is also active as a composer. His works include various piano compositions, chamber music (including String Quartet op. 9, written for Mstislav Rostropovich's 70th birthday gala), and orchestral works, as well as Cadenzas for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven Piano Concertos. In 2007/08 season he premiered his piano cycle "Kinderszenen – Hommage à Schumann" op. 15 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

His recent arrangement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra saw its World Premiere on October 1, 2009 in Atlanta, USA, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under their music director Robert Spano. This concert was also recorded live by Channel Classics and the CD was released in January 2010 to great critical acclaim.

Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1962 and grew up with his two younger brothers in Santpoort, where his parents still live. At the age of 19 he moved to Amsterdam and has remained in the same 17th century house on the Noordermarkt ever since. Pieter's diverse musical personality is rooted in the training he received-firstly from regular exposure from a very early age to his father's amateur string quartet when they rehearsed at the Wispelwey home, to lessons with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam followed by studies with Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in the UK. It was also Dicky Boeke who encouraged him to listen to as much music as possible but particularly sowed the seeds for his love of Renaissance music (Italian and English madrigalists!) and German Lied. These genres, particularly the performances of Dietrich Fischer Diskau, have been a constant source of inspiration for Pieter. In 1990 his first recording with Channel Classics, The Bach Cello Suites, was released to great acclaim and in 1992 he was the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is endowed upon the most promising young musician in the Netherlands; thus his path was secured to the busy and varied career he has today.

Pieter has always been at home on the modern cello with metal and/or gut strings as he is on the baroque 4 string and 5 string cello. Therefore he covers a repertoire from JS Bach to Elliott Carter drawing on a palett of sounds and colours available from his range of instruments, string set-ups and bows. Having grown up in an age and country where hearing period instruments was very much the norm for concert-goers, Pieter naturally developed his conviction that, in the right conditions, much 18th and 19th century music sounds far better on gut strings than on metal. However he is not a purist in the sense that if conditions are less than ideal (no fortepiano, too big a hall, too hot, too humid, too dry acoustically etc.) then he is more than happy to pick up his modern cello with metal strings (which therefor is quite often the case).

Recitals have always played a major part in Pieter's concert diary. As a recitalist with piano, he has all the main repertoire at his disposal which is always ready for performance, often at very short notice. He is not, and has never been, the type of soloist who tours the world with one or two recital programmes and a couple of concertos per season. On the contrary, a typical week in Pieter's life (if one can be said to exist) could well include the Bach suites, with perhaps 2 different recital programmes, a couple of concerto appearances with a student masterclass thrown in for good measure! He has appeared as recitalist all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London), Chatelet (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires) and Sydney Opera House. Future exciting engagements include Bach and Britten suites at the Lincoln Centre, New York and a return visit to the Edinburgh Festival.

Pieter has appeared with a variety of orchestras and ensembles both with and without conductors. Notable projects without conductors have been the touring and recording of the Schumann and Shostakovich cello concertos with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra has, without doubt, provided for Pieter the happiest and most satisfying musical collaborations of his career to date, not least due to the genius of leader and musical director, Richard Tognetti. He has also appeared, with conductor, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC symphony orchestra, the Russian National Symphony, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen to name but a few and has recorded with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Future engagements with orchestras include the Halle, the Japan Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Marc Minkowsky.

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Sonatas for Piano and Cello (2007)


Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

    BBC Music Magazine

Without doubt, this achievement can be entirely attributed to the wonderfully imaginative and wide-ranging tonal qualities demonstrated by Wispelwey and his superb partner Dejan Lazic, as well as to the excellent balanced recording ...Finally we get the real thing - a tremendous performance

    International Record Review

Glowing performances. Rich in detail, judicious at all times and places in terms of tone, phrasing and sonority, and sympathy with all the nuances of Brahmss overarching melodic lines and subtly variety rhythms. Wispelwey makes the most glorious sound, Lazic is the perfect match, neither over-forceful nor under-powered.


Impassioned playing in the cello disc while the violin duo are most engaging. The musicians are both, idiosyncratic players ....Reservations are swept away by their magnificent handling of the finale, which is played fast and with genuine emotional energy as well as conquering virtuosity.

    Classic FM

Majestic performances.

    American Record Guide

a great disc: exceptionally imaginative and impassioned performers, terrific music, wonderful sound, and excellent instrumental balance.


What makes Wispelwey's new entry stand out for me is his pianist, Dejan Lazic. Without ever overwhelming Wispelwey - hard to do in any case, given Wispelwey 's powerful tone - Lazic makes of the piano part a great deal more than we often hear from accompanists

    Fono Forum

Subtil, mit enormer klanglichen Vielfalt, entwerfen die Interpreten ein sehr persnliches Brahms-Bild, das auch die historisierende Spielweise befragt und Hrgewohnheiten herausfordert.


.hier entsteht eine Verschmelzung der Instrumente, wie man sie ansonsten nicht hrt! () Ensemble (...) ein fabelhaftes Team (...)

    Haagse Post

Kun je Brahms mooier, intenser en herfstiger spelen dan cellist Peter Wispelwey doet op zijn nieuwe cd? Nee dus. Elke sonate uit de vroege, midden en late periode van Brahms heeft zijn eigen karakter en sfeer. Elke sonate is een wereld op zich. In de woorden van Wispelwey: de ene is deftig jong, de ander uitbundig volwassen en de volgende rebels oud. Van Brahms is bekend dat hij opus 78 onmogelijk met droge ogen kon uitspelen. Zoals Wispelwey het doet (zo innig, zo zangerig) is het ook bijna onmogelijk om het met droge ogen uit te luisteren. Topklasse.


zachtaardige betovering op deze nieuwe Channel Classics cd!! (...) (...) een echte live ervaring in je eigen huiskamer

    Klassieke Zaken

De cellist klink als een zoenende, hongerige wolf maar ook als de mens die zijn eeuwige liefde juist heeft gevonden. (...) Onmiskenbaar muziek van Brahms!! (...) (...) Wat ook opvalt aan deze opname is het mooie pianospel van Dejan Lazic. Nu eens morrelt hij wat in de diepte dan weer sprankelt hij boven de cello uit. Hij verliest geen moment de aandacht, blijft boeien en verrassen.

Aan lyrische bevlogenheid noch aan levendig temperament ontbreekt het niet en die extra sonate maakt het geheel nog aantrekkelijker. (...) Deze voortreffelijk klinkende uitgave voegt zich moeiteloos bij de besten.


Pieter Wispelwey's intonatie is loepzuiver. Extra vermelding verdient het geweldig vibrato, dat Wispelwey in zijn spel hanteert. Een echte aanwinst in het al imposante discografie van Wispelwey.

    De Gelderlander

Wanneer de beide heren gezamenlijk de opnamestudio in duiken, dan verdubbelt ook de magie. () () De musici tekenen voor fonkelende, meeslepende vertolkingen. Wispelwey treedt met zijn alleszins geslaagde transcriptie van de klarinet/vioolsonate voor cello bovendien in de voetsporen van Brahms himself.


Pieter Wispelwey speelt muzikaal geslepen, Dejan Lazic is zijn bijna verlegen wapendrager. Het blijft een leuk stel.

Sonatas for Piano and Cello (2007)


Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

Cables: van den Hul T3 series
Digital Converters: Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Hein Dekker
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Eindhoven The Netherlands 2007
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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24707: Sonatas for Piano and Cello
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Sonata for piano and cello in e-minor, op.38 - Allegro non troppo
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Sonata for piano and cello in e-minor, op.38 - Allegretto quasi menuetto
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Sonata for piano and cello in e-minor, op.38 - Allegro
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Sonata for piano and cello in D-Major, op.78 - Vivace ma non troppo
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Sonata for piano and cello in D-Major, op.78 - Adagio-più andante-adagio
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Sonata for piano and cello in D-Major, op.78 - Allegro molto moderato
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Sonata for piano and cello in f-minor, op.120 nr. 1 - Allegro appassionato
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Sonata for piano and cello in f-minor, op.120 nr. 1 - Andante un poco adagio
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Sonata for piano and cello in f-minor, op.120 nr. 1 - Allegretto grazioso
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Sonata for piano and cello in f-minor, op.120 nr. 1 - Vivace
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