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Musical pieces for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven. Ildikó Szabó and István Lajkó - CD Review, 9th-10th of November 2023

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 , ora 16.11

A new album was released on the 24th of March 2023 on the Hungaroton Classic label. The double disc includes the five sonatas for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as variations for this instrument duo from the german composer's work, recorded by Ildikó Szabó and István Lajkó - musicians from Hungary, winners of international awards, appreciated for their technical skills and expressiveinterpretation. They have a close collaboration, and this double disc of Beethoven sonatas is a natural extension of their recent work. "I couldn't have found a better musical partner than István Lajkó", says cellist Ildiko Szabo, and indeed their homogeneity as a duo and the artistic experience of the two musicians shines throughin these recentrecordings.

Of the album's programme, Ildikó Szabó says: "I was about 15 when I started learning Beethoven's first sonata. As a cellist I am grateful that this composer has left his mark on our reportery, covering all three of his creative periods. Beethoven is a revolution in music. It is impossible to imagine the course of music history without him. For me Beethoven is not only freedom, equality and fraternity, not only the inventor of a new genre - the cello and piano sonata, but also a teacher who teaches us unconditional love, humor and humanity", says cellist Ildikó Szabó, who highlights, remarkably, all these qualities of Ludwig van Beethoven's music.

Ildikó Szabó is a professor of chamber music at the Franz Liszt University in Weimar and has won numerous prizesin international competitions in the past, the most important of which was the Pablo Casals Cello Competition in 2014. She has collaborated with the Hungarian Broadcasting Orchestra and other prestigious ensembles in Budapest, as well as with the Magdeburg Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and the ChamberOrchestra of Europe. Ildikó Szabó has a particular passion for the Hungarian and Transylvanian reporterong, promoting works by György Kurtág, Csaba Szabó and Péter Eötvös, some of which the young musician will premiere on disc in 2020, after recording her debut album of pieces from the Romantic and modern repertoire in 2014. The cellist has collaborated with artists such as Ferenc Rados, Kirill Gerstein, Tabea Zimmermann and István Lajkó, the latter one being her stage partner for the last decade. Ildikó Szabó and István Lajkó were studentsat the Franz Liszt Academyin Budapest and at the University of Music in Weimar and have givennumerous recitals together.

Larisa Clempuș
Translated by Miruna Flipache,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu