Cello originals and borrowings played with great allure

Daniel Müller-Schott: Grieg


The Strad Issue: November 2022

Description: Cello originals and borrowings played with great allure

Musicians: Daniel Müller-Schott (cello) Herbert Schuch (piano)

Works: Grieg: Sonata for cello and piano op.36; Intermezzo in A minor; Sonata no.3 for violin and piano op.45 and various songs (arr. Müller-Schott)

Catalogue number: ORFEO C 240221 

Songs and piano music were the genres that provided the chief inspiration for Grieg, and this wonderfully recorded CD eloquently shows their impact on his chamber music, not least in the evocative Andante of the Cello Sonata, to which Daniel Müller-Schott brings captivating simplicity to the folk-like melody. Stylistically the music veers between the richness of Brahms and the emotional turbulence of Schumann, from the introspective to the fiery; Müller-Schott really emphasises these conflicting elements, with driving tempos ameliorated by the tenderest of phrasing, using his vibrato to good effect through colour and nuance. Herbert Schuch negotiates the thickly virtuosic piano parts with a steely nerve, weaving in and out of prominence at a moment’s notice.

Arrangements by Müller-Schott form the lion’s share of the disc, and he proves particularly astute in forging idiomatic writing for his instrument. The full range of the cello is deployed: the C minor Violin Sonata a familiar friend with a new outfit. It works beautifully, sounding as if it were originally written for the cello – always the acid test. The instrument’s cantabile qualities ensure that the selection of Grieg song transcriptions works equally well, with Müller-Schott presenting a nicely wide-ranging choice.