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Beethoven and Schubert Cello Sonatas

We are delighted to welcome back Isabel Williamson and Jonathan Ellis who previously performed at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in June.

Beethoven composed five sonatas for cello and piano, spanning his entire career. Together they chart out a map of his life; from youthful exuberance in his two early sonatas, through deafness and suffering at the time of Op 69, to the exquisite and enigmatic late sonatas, Op 102. The Opus  5 sonatas in F major and G minor were composed in 1796, when the young Beethoven was carving out a performing career as a virtuoso pianist – they are essentially piano sonatas with obbligato cello parts; Beethoven wasn’t going to let himself be overshadowed by a mere cellist!

However, the cello certainly gets its share of virtuosic material in the second sonata of the evening – Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. This was composed in 1824 for arpeggione – a 6-stringed bowed instrument which was invented in 1823 and drifted into obscurity not long after. The arpeggione, tuned similarly to a guitar, could play higher than a cello and was especially suited to playing double-stops, thirds and arpeggios, features which all come across in the sonata. The sonata – too beautiful and inventive to be cast into obscurity like the instrument it was written for – is now commonly played on viola and cello.

Tickets £12 (£10 for students)

The tea room and bar will be open from 6.30pm and during the interval.

Isabel Williamson (Cello)

Isabel is an active chamber musician and performs regularly with the Heathcote String Sextet and the Ellison String Quartet. Isabel is equally at home in popular and classical styles, and recently returned from a European tour with the folk-rock band ‘The Wishing Well’ in addition to performing and composing with several Manchester bands and songwriters.

Jonathan Ellis (Piano)

Jonathan regularly appears with City of Manchester Opera, Opera Seria, Heritage Opera, Bury Choral Society and is three times the winner of the “Best Solo Musician” prize at the Buxton Festival Fringe. He also performs with “Classical Evolution”, and musical charities “Music in Hospitals” and “Live Music Now”.

Collaboration with the Royal Northern College of Music

Watch their previous performance at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House


26th Oct 2017

7:30pm - 9:30pm


I'm afraid we must do some shopping

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863