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One of Debussy's planned Six Sonatas for Various Instruments—with only three of the six completed before his death in 1918—the relatively short but demanding Cello Sonata is one of the repertoire's most cherished pieces, and one of the composer's most emotionally affecting works. Written amid the carnage of World War I, and with Debussy fighting his own battle against cancer, the sonata is strikingly original, complete with unusual technical challenges, sudden tempo changes, and wandering tonality. Get a close-up look at the effort that goes into a performance of the first movement with master cellist Péter Szabó and pupil Janka Jámbor!
Professor Péter Szabó has been the principal cellist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra since 1993, as well as a solo cellist in the World Orchestra for Peace, founded by UNESCO Artist for Peace Sir Georg Solti. Szabó studied at the Liszt Ferenc Academy in Budapest with Ferenc Rados, György Kurtág and László Mező. He has recorded extensively for prestigious labels; championed the works of contemporary composers; played in renowned chamber groups with artists like Zoltán Kocsis, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Yuri Bashmet, and Gábor Takács-Nagy; and has given annual master classes in Bulle (Switzerland), in Sao Paolo (Brazil), and Korcula (Croatia), among others.