Music: Undercover Masterpiece

For years people have asked Cellist Janos Starker to name the piece he most enjoys performing. "The one by Brahms —if only he had written it for cello," was the virtuoso's reply. He was referring, he would explain, to Opus 78, the G Major Sonata for Violin and Piano, an introspective work tinged with Nordic melancholy. "It is the most glorious Brahms," says Starker, "and it has been the dream of all cellists some day to be able to play it." No one, however, dared transcribe the violin work for cello, but early this...

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