BRAHMS: THE CELLO SONATASSonata for Cello and Piano No.1 in E minor, Op.38
Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F major, Op.99
JOHN WHITFIELD, cello
JAMES WINN, piano
“[The Brahms sonatas] are obviously loved by these performers… They are played here with warmth of tone and remarkable clarity of voicing and unity of rubato, phrased with feeling and attention to the significance of every move Brahms suggests.”
Moore, American Record Guide [September/October 2014]
“Whitfield has a very smooth tone, whipped cream-like in texture, and a fine legato line, supported nicely by James Winn’s perceptive and timely partnership... [In the First Sonata] Whitfield’s correct adherence to the elegance of the early work fits nicely. The sound is very natural and clean.”
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [June 2014]
"Cellist John Whitfield and pianist James Winn give honest, rugged, and frequently deeply moving interpretations of Brahms‟ two great Sonatas for Cello and Piano in E minor, Op. 38 and F major, Op. 99... Whitfield and Winn succeed so admirably that this is one of the best accounts of Op. 38 in my memory as a reviewer. Opus 99 is, if anything, more stunning than its predecessor, largely because Brahms really let himself open up for once... The present artists are not slow in picking up their cues, making this album a memorable one.”
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta [June 2014]
PROGRAM NOTESJohn Whitfield has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician across the United States and abroad. Highlights include chamber and solo appearances in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Philadelphia; and in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Salzburg, Vienna and Innsbruck. He has appeared with numerous New Yorkbased ensembles, including the Cygnus Ensemble, Newband, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Bang on a Can Festival, Musician’s Accord, the New York Guild of Composers, Merkin Hall’s Heritage Series, Composers Concordance and the
Orra Chamber Ensemble, among others. A strong advocate of contemporary music, Whitfield has given New York and World premieres of numerous chamber works by such esteemed composers as Sebastian Currier, Mario Davidovsky, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Mackey and Julia Wolfe. His teachers include Robert Marsh at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Lawrence Lesser and Colin Carr at the New England Conservatory and Timothy Eddy at SUNY Stony Brook, where he earned the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts.
James Winn made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of thirteen, and has
been performing widely in North America, Europe and Japan ever since. With his duo-piano partner
Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize in the two-piano category of the 1980 A.A.R.D.
International Competition in Munich. He has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble and of Hexagon, as well as a frequent guest artist
with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Group for Contemporary Music
and Bargemusic. A specialist in new music, Winn has been involved in numerous world premieres
and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize winners. He is the pianist of the Argenta Trio, and also performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed violinist Rolf Schulte. Winn’s own compositions have been performed internationally. In 2009, he received the Governor of the State of Nevada’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Winn has been principal keyboard of the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestras since 1997, and is currently piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada in Reno.
PROGRAMJOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
SONATA NO.1 FOR CELLO AND PIANO IN E MINOR, OP.38
Allegro non troppo
Allegretto quasi Menuetto
SONATA NO.2 FOR CELLO AND PIANO IN F MAJOR, OP.99