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MENDELSSOHN // The Complete Works for Cello & Piano

Gary Hoffman,

Music, rather than simply being a question of technique and practice, is a labour of love, born out of pleasure and created with pleasure…

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A pleasure that Gary Hoffman and David Selig share : “Our rehearsals are not moments where we have decided in advance to work on this or that. We start with the music and our choices are made naturally, instinctively… I don’t ask myself questions, I just play”, says Gary Hoffman.

Having entered the Rostropovitch Competition, and needing a pianist to accompany him, Gary Hoffman met David Selig and they have since become close friends as well as collaborators. They share a passion for the underestimated genius of the German 19th Century composer Felix Mendelssohn. For Gary Hoffman, Mendelssohn is as great as Schumann, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart; his works are exquisitely written and physically demanding; his vision poetic, ample and modern.

To repair the injustice of Mendelssohn’s current reputation with musicians as a “minor” composer, Gary Hoffman and David Selig have recorded his complete works for cello and piano or the French label Dolce Volta. In order to do justice to Mendelssohn, the perfectly constructed balance of the pieces and the interplay between the two instruments, it was necessary to unite two close friends, working together in perfect harmony.

Furthermore, Gary Hoffman plays a 1662 Nicola Amati cello, formerly in the possession of Count Mathieu Wielhorski, a friend of Mendelssohn’s to whom the composer dedicated his Sonata op.58.

  • Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 – Allegro assai vivace 7’37
  • Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 – Allegretto scherzando 5’08
  • Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 – Adagio 4’39
  • Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58 – Molto allegro e vivace 6’35
  • Variations concertantes, for cello and piano, Op 17 8’16
  • Albumblatt 1’55
  • Lied Ohne Worte for Cello and Piano in D major, Op109 4’05
  • Cello Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 45 – Allegro vivace 11’59
  • Cello Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 45 – Andante 5’56
  • Cello Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 45 – Allegro assai 5’57


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’.

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