Imogen Cooper


Brahms and Bach: Cello and Piano

Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

Performed by Imogen Cooper, Sonia Wieder-Atherton

RCA Red Seal / Pid / 1355669 / Recorded at La Ferme de Villefavard, Limousin, France

Here are two performers of one mind musically. Their interpretations of all three Bahms Sonatas are beautifully paced, distinctively shaped and detailed. Cooper's reading of Kurtág's arrangement of Bach's BWV106 'Actus tragicus' is a haunting gem.

BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ****

[In the] Brahms's cello sonatas… Sonia Weider-Atherton and Imogen Cooper… hold the tension for the very soft, near nostalgic beauty of the E major coda, as they do for the many bars of pianissimo writing in the last movement of the Second Sonata. Not since Mstislav Rostropovich and Rudolf Serkin have these works been interpreted with such compulsive acuity... The Bach transcriptions are persuasive. ...Cooper steals this particular show in a meltingly moving re-creation of the Sonatina from Cantata No 106 that ought to be played first and last.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2008

A perceived similarity between a theme in Bach's Art of Fugue and the opening of Brahm's first cello sonata led Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Imogen Cooper to experiment with musical relationships, arranging movements from Bach cantatas as punctuation marks between three Brahms sonatas. This unconvincing contrivance fails on many levels. It leaves the listener wanting more Bach while the Brahms sonatas - splendidly played, particularly in the turbulent outer movements - seem almost an interruption rather than an extension of a musical idea.

The Observer, 3rd August 2008