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Such are the quirks of popular taste that Mendelssohn’s two cello sonatas, the main works in this engaging compilation, have never achieved the popularity of his piano trios or Octet. And yet listen to their charming slow movements, or their quicksilver finales, and you wonder why this music, typical of Mendelssohn’s confident lyricism, is not better known.

The teenage Variations concertantes are more playfully virtuosic, while the mature Lied ohne Worte – an adjunct to the composer’s numerous Songs without Words for solo piano – reveals a gentle miniature with a sweetly arching melody.

Macleod and Sturfält prove persuasive advocates: like the best duos they have an instinctive understanding of each other’s musicianship.

Mendelssohn

The complete works for cello and piano

Marie Macleod and Martin Sturfält

(Stone Records)

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