The title ‘1828’ refers to Schubert’s final and astoundingly productive year, which brought forth the three duets and solo sonata featured on this disc. In Philippe Cassard’s hands, the declamatory dynamism of the D959 A major Sonata’s first-movement exposition takes a back seat, with an emphasis on shapely soft playing that ravishingly comes to roost throughout the movement’s development section. The pianist’s eloquent legato holds attention in the Andantino’s outer sections, yet he downplays the harrowing chromatic climax. He similarly understates the Scherzo’s explosive descending minor scales, yet his delicate, witty arpeggiation of the main theme’s leaping chords delights. While the Rondo gains assurance and momentum as it progresses, I prefer Pollini’s firmer left-hand projection in the explosive central minor episode and the intelligent architecture of his dynamics.
Over the course of his career, Steven Isserlis has performed the two cello concertos of Franz Joseph Haydn with several orchestras, and recorded them previously with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on RCA. This 2017 Hyperion release features Isserlis performing Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, H. 7b:1 and the Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, H. 7b:2 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in a lively, all-Classical program that also includes Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Cello Concerto No. 3 in A major, H439, and two short filler pieces, Isserlis' arrangement of Geme la tortorella from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's La finta giardiniera, and the Adagio from Luigi Boccherini's Cello Concerto in G major, G480.