Fanny Hensel - Fantasia in G minor (1830)
Perfectly wrought; one of the gems of the cello repertoire.
Ethel Smyth - Cello Sonata in A Minor Op. 5 (1887)
Like many of Smyth’s works, this can take a few listenings to get into, but the effort is SO worth it.
Rita Strohl - Sonate Dramatique for cello and piano (1892)
The third movement is incredible.
Amy Beach - Dreaming from Four Sketches Op. 15 (1892)
Originally for solo piano, Amy Beach created this cello arrangement and we are the richer for it. Pure magic. There’s a reason this composer was a household name during her lifetime.
Mel Bonis - Cello Sonata in F Major (1904)
The slow movement! ❤
Nadia Boulanger - Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (1914)
I particularly like the third movement, which sports a cool section in 5/8 time. The piece alternates between deeply heartfelt and raucous, joyous abandon. It’s one of the few technically virtuosic encore style works that also has a lot of depth.
Henriette Bosmans - Sonata for Cello and Piano (1919)
The first and fourth movements in particular are SO good. Had Bosmans’ work not been marginalized like that of so many other women composers, this piece would certainly be at the heart of the repertoire. There would be many, many recordings of it, produced over decades, like the Brahms E Minor cello sonata.
Marcelle Soulage - Sonata for cello and piano (1919)
The second and third movements are especially good. Soulage uses elements of jazz at a time when it was only just starting to become popular in Paris. The second movement has moments of incredible tenderness, whilst the third is downright rock ’n’ roll at points.
Andrée Bonhomme - Lamento for cello and piano (1942)
(in Spotify, it’s listed as Sonatine for cello and piano, I Lent et trèsexpressif.) It’s sticks-to-your-ribs evocative, with a sense of foreboding that gives way to unbridled passion.
Florence Price - Adoration (1951)
This piece was not originally written for cello, but it translates beautifully to the instrument. Raphaela Gromes’ rendition with string orchestra accompaniment is particularly compelling.