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Ori and Omri Epstein, best known for performing as part of the Busch Trio, make their Linn debut as a duo with a recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas. Considered cornerstones of the repertory, these masterpieces illustrate all the creative periods of the composer’s working life. The two Sonatas Op. 5 are bursting with exhilarating effects. Written when Beethoven was focused on showcasing his own virtuosity as a pianist, they are nonetheless eloquent showpieces for the ‘accompanying’ cello which is used in a remarkable variety of ways. Pianist and cellist are treated as equal partners in the Sonata in A major, which is the most lyrical and improvisational of Beethoven’s sonatas. The cello’s versatility across rapid changes of register and function is especially well demonstrated here. The two Sonatas Op. 102 herald the concentration of Beethoven’s late style and are particularly technically demanding. Beethoven scholar Barry Cooper describes them as having “a transcendent quality that, even after countless performances, makes them always seem innovative and challenging.”