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BRAHMS // 2 Sonatas for Piano and Cello

Claire Désert, Gary Hoffman,

An unbearable lightness of being. Gary Hoffman, one of the music world’s best-kept secrets, is a fine and uncompromising client. This is a disc to delight Brahmsians. The two contrasting, complementary sonatas here receive vital, deeply musical performances. With Gary Hoffman and pianist Claire Désert, both works surge and sing!


Estimated delivery by 24/10/2021

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Brahm’s Sonatas for piano and cello, op.38 and op.99, top chamber pieces, full of multifaceted humanity require from their interpreters as much complementarity as osmosis. We are immediately captivated by Gary Hoffman’s beautiful Amati cello – once played by Leonard Rose – and pianist Claire Desert’s charming touch.

They impose a well-matured balance. Sweetness and passion, melancholy and frenzy, meditation and exaltation which all mix together thanks to spontaneous eloquent inflections. The dialogue’s fantastic aspect between cello and piano gains more and more depth and lyricism throughout the program.

Cello Sonata no.1 in E minor, op.38


  • Allegro non troppo 14’27
  • Allegretto quasi menuetto 5’49
  • Allegro – Più presto 6’26


Cello Sonata no.2 in F major, op.99


  • Allegro vivace 9’19
  • Adagio a ettuoso 6’41
  • Allegro passionato 7’13
  • Allegro molto 4’24


Gary Hoffman

Gary Hoffman’s style is characterised by fullness of sound, instrumental mastery and exceptional artistic sensibility.

He made his debut at the Wigmore Hall in London at the age of fifteen, quickly followed by New York. At the age of twenty-two he became the youngest faculty appointee in the history of the Indiana University School of Music. After winning the Premier Grand Prix of the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986, he embarked on an international career, appearing with the world’s most noted orchestras, in major recital and chamber music series and at prestigious festivals.

Although he has great affection for the classical cello repertoire, Gary Hoffman does not neglect contemporary music, of which he is a committed champion. Numerous composers, among them Graciane Finzi, Renaud Gagneux, Joel Hoffman, Laurent Petitgirard and Dominique Lemaître, to name only a few, have dedicated their concertos to him.

He is a regular guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in NewYork, and is a remarkable and much sought-after chamber partner. He has made recordings for BMG (RCA), Sony, EMI and Le Chant du Monde, and now records on the La Dolce Volta label.

Gary Hoffman has lived in Paris since 1990. He performs on a 1662 Nicolo Amati, the ‘ex- Leonard Rose’.

Claire Désert

Claire Désert touches her public by the grace, depth and humility of her interpretations. She is a frequent guest at such leading French festivals as La Roqued’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, Lille Piano Festival, and Festival of Radio France Montpellier, and is also present on the international scene, with appearances at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Kennedy Center in New York, and in Japan, Brazil, Germany, etc. She appears as a soloist with major symphonic formations including the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the orchestras of Strasbourg, Toulouse, Prague…At the age of fourteen she entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where she was awarded the premier prix in piano by unanimous decision of the jury in the class of Vensislav Yankoff and a premier prix in chamber music in the class of Jean Hubeau. After being admitted to the postgraduate course in these two disciplines , she came to the attention of the pianist and pedagogue Evgeny Malinin, who invited her to pursue her studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

Claire Désert is a peerless chamber musician. Her partners of choice include Emmanuel Strosser, Gary Hoffman, Anne Gastinel, Philippe Graffin, the Sine Nomine Quartet, and the Moraguès Wind Quintet.

Her extensive discography features notably the Scriabin and Dvořàk Concertos with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, which was awarded a Victoire de la Musique in 1997.

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