Over the years – now that we have practically covered the entire classical and romantic repertoire for cello and piano – we have realised more and more clearly why we have become musicians in the first place and what is indispensable for our inner balance.
Herein lies the answer to the question of why we have recorded these composers and these pieces at this moment.We both feel that these composers had the greatest influence on our love of music at a very early stage and were even a decisive factor in us becoming musicians.
Starting with Schubert. Listening to Die Winterreise for the first time as young teenagers left an indelible impression for the rest of our lives. We were incredibly lucky to hear Schubert in truly ‘shockingly’ ideal performances: Fischer-Dieskau, Kathleen Ferrier, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf with Gerald Moore and Edwin Fischer….
We were overwhelmed, children still, by the complete symbiosis of music and poetry. This became a guideline for us in the way we wanted to make music ourselves: in essence, always wanting to tell something to the listener. Getting to know first the instrumental and later the vocal music of Schumann strengthened our youthful conviction that ‘enchantment with the story in the music’ is for us the only possible relationship with the listener.
Interestingly, our connection with this music is mirrored by the composers themselves. Reading about Schumann’s life, we discovered that he wrote in a diary or article ‘’Schubert is my everything’’.
Not much later, we also felt the same emotional vulnerability in Dmitry Shostakovich as lies in Schubert and Schumann’s narratives. As a composer Shostakovich (for whom we also played his sonata) is in many ways far removed from the first two. However, what unites these three, in our view, is precisely their keen feeling, their great empathy for human suffering. They are people ‘without skin’ – with an open heart.