Cellist Elgee Leung and pianist Josie Yau present another duo concert featuring Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 5 in D major, Brahms’ Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, and works by J.S. Bach, Villa-lobos, and Popper.
Beethoven was the first composer to recognise the potential of the medium of cello and piano each playing an equal part as a duo. His five Sonatas for Piano and Cello established the genre of cello sonata, which became a standard form of chamber music. Composed in 1815, the last sonata marked the beginning of Beethoven’s ‘Late Period’, when he began to find inner peace by becoming more introspective and embracing the loneliness of being Beethoven, despite his deafness and deteriorating health.
“Whoever gets to know and understand my music, will be freed from all the misery the world has to offer.” – Ludwig van Beethoven
Often regarded as the pinnacle of Late Romantic chamber music, Brahms’ second Cello Sonata was written in the summer of 1886, which he spent in Lake Thun, Switzerland, producing, in addition to the Cello Sonata, his second Violin Sonata, Piano Trio No. 3, and various Lieder. The sonata showed not only the sophistication of the composer’s late period, but also his progressive musical ideas in conservative musical forms and structures.
The rest of the programme consists of works by J.S. Bach, and two cellist composers who were heavily influenced by the Three Bs (Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms), David Popper (1843-1913) and Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959).
Originally from Hong Kong, the husband-wife duo has performed in more than 50 concerts in Hong Kong, Europe, China, and New Zealand since 2010.