Pieter Wispelwey Plays Beethoven

with Caroline Almonte

Pieter Wispelwey


An ambitious undertaking encompassing the complete cello works of Beethoven, the six solo suites of Bach and Brahms’s cello sonatas performed over three consecutive evenings.

‘A musician through and through, someone you can always trust to get the message right.’ Gramophone Magazine

There are a handful of musicians who inspire the adoration (not just the admiration) of audiences, critics and other musicians. Pieter Wispelwey is one of them. The Dutch cellist is a master of both the modern and the Baroque cello with the interpretative range and technical command equal to the most challenging works. He specialises in performances that cast new light on familiar repertoire. Gramophone Magazine described him as a ‘musician through and through, someone you can always trust to get the message right.’

A familiar presence on Australian stages, Wispelwey has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and made his Melbourne Recital Centre debut in 2011 with an acclaimed solo recital. In 2017, his ambitious agenda encompasses the complete cello works of Beethoven, the six solo suites of Bach, and Brahms’s cello sonatas all performed over three consecutive evenings. Melbourne-based pianist Caroline Almonte is the perfect partner for the virtuoso musical conversations of Beethoven and Brahms. This is your opportunity to experience three facets of one of the world’s great cellists in one of the world’s great halls.

Beethoven returned to the cello several times in his life. The youthful early sonatas are full of dazzling effects, No.3 is an island of serenity in the midst of one of his most troubled periods, while the final two are a transcendent farewell from the end of his life. Interspersed between them, the whimsical variation sets demonstrate Beethoven’s playful side and are fascinating insights into his creative process.

Marshall McGuire, Director of Artistic Planning on Pieter Wispelwey:

The cello works of Beethoven, Bach and Brahms revealed, and revelled in, by one of the great cellists of our time. Bold, intense and unforgettable.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Ludwig van Beethoven

Cello Sonata No.1 in F, Op.5 No.1
Variations on ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’ from Die Zauberflöte, Op.66
Cello Sonata No.2 in G minor, Op.5 No.2
Cello Sonata No.4 in C, Op.102 No.1
Variations on ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’ from Die Zauberflöte, WoO 46
Cello Sonata No.5 in D, Op.102 No.2
Variations on ‘See the Conqur’ing hero comes’ from Judas Maccabaeus, WoO 45
Cello Sonata No.3 in A, Op.69


Join musicians and experts to delve deeper into the music and lives of the composers by attending a free pre-concert talk 45-minutes before each Great Performers concert.