Spanish cellist Adolfo Gutierrez Arenas and German-Korean pianist Christopher Park deliver refreshingly vigorous, even irreverent performances of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas, works that offer the listener a unique overview of the composer's evolving style.
This duo regularly performs all five Cello Sonatas together in their concert programmes because there are few examples, from any other composer, of a relatively short cycle in which the listener can experience such an insight into the artistic development of a titan like Beethoven. It is a journey of enormous and overwhelming intensity, from the confident statement of a composer sure that he was destined to be heard (Op. 5); the revelation of a new voice, powerful and certain of itself (Op. 69); and the transition into a more introspective, reclusive inner world (Op. 102). In the two Op. 5 Sonatas Beethoven lifts the cello from the realm of the orchestra or quartet; in Op. 69 he ennobles it, revealing it as a worthy equal to the violin. The two Op. 102 Sonatas are more elusive, their textures venturing along paths presaging a new language. Alfred Brendel wrote that these two works "continue to produce a violent commotion, just as they did with Beethoven's contemporaries", marking as they do "the start of a new style, so different that it defies definition".
Adolfo Gutierrez Arenas was awarded the Maurice Ravel Prize and made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra before embarking on an illustrious career. "Adolfo is a cellist of exceptional ability, both as an instrumentalist and as a superbly gifted musician" (Bernard Greenhouse, cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio).
Christopher Park has been chosen as a 'Rising Star' by ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation), and alongside his award-winning engagements as a soloist, he is passionately involved in chamber music, regularly collaborating with an array of prominent artists. "Christopher Park is a pianist who captivates with his fascinating technical mastery, astounding musical maturity, and a particularly intense performance style" the jury awarding Park the Leonard Bernstein Award in 2014.