Cello Sonata in a minor, Op.52
The famous chamber music critic, Wilhelm Altmann, writing of Kiel's Op.52 cello sonata, commented that not only was it the equal of Brahms' cello sonatas thematically, but it was superior to them from the standpoint of balance between the instruments.
Kiel was taught the rudiments of music and received his first piano lessons from his father but was in large part self-taught. Something of a prodigy, he played the piano almost without instruction at the age of six, and by his thirteenth year he had composed much music. Kiel eventually won a scholarship which allowed him to study in Berlin with the renowned theorist and teacher Siefried Dehn. By 1866, Kiel obtained a teaching position at the prestigious Stern Conservatory and was elevated to a professorship three years later. In 1870 he joined the faculty of the newly founded Hochschule für Musik which was shortly thereafter considered one of the finest music schools in Germany. Among his many students were Noskowski, Paderewski and Stanford.
The Op.52 sonata was composed in 1868. The dramatic and exciting first movement, Allegro moderato ma con spirito, surprises with its permanent development and exposition of the appealing thematic material. A charming Intermezzo follows and is calm and and quiet. The third movement, a highly expressive Adagio con espressione, is characterized by the cello and piano alternating in presenting fine melodic material. The finale, Rondo, poco allegretto semplice, is notable for its subtle use of an ever increasing tempo.
Here is a cello sonata of the very first rank. Deserving of a regular place in the recital hall and on the music stands of professional and amateur cellists alike. Out of print for more than a century, we are pleased to make it available once again