Mørk is a remarkably gifted cellist
whose discography on Virgin Classics attests
to a wide-ranging repertoire and a keen intellect.
He has recorded both of the major sonatas
on offer at this recital (Miaskovsky and Prokofiev),
although with different pianists (Jean-Yves
Thibaudet and Lars Vogt, respectively). On
this occasion, he was partnered by Kathryn
Stott whose BIS Schulhoff disc I named as
one of my Critic’s Choices for 2003.
Together, the pair are due to tour the US,
and on the present evidence it will be a great
First Cello Sonata is a wonderful work (for
a bargain priced version, try Maria Tarasova
Emerging from the depths, Mørk sang
the resonant lines beautifully while Stott
projected her part perfectly for the Wigmore’s
acoustic. It was evident right from the start
that this is a well-matched pair (Stott can
play with just as warm a tone as Mørk,
which added to the intimate moments). The
fiendishly difficult piano part held no perils,
while Mørk was able to play with real
Miaskovsky is well worth getting to know,
Prokofiev’s late Cello Sonata in C, Op. 119
(it dates from 1949) is a magnificent pinnacle
of the cello repertoire. Alexander Ivashkin’s
recording (included in a disc of Prokofiev’s
complete works for cello
is the clear modern front-runner, but the
pairing of Mørk and Stott heard live
was intensely convincing. Stott melted her
tone after another resonant opening from Mørk.
With the cello’s insistent ‘strumming’, the
music had an elemental feel that suited the
work’s seriousness of intent. The more shifting
and restless passages were rightly disturbing,
while the witty sections were Prokofiev through
and through. There was an underlying energy
that underpinned even the more reposeful moments
(take the muted cello over rocking piano accompaniment
in the finale, for example). This was very,
programmed encore, we were treated to a performance
of the Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14, by Rachmaninov.
Refusing to linger, it was intimate then impassioned.
Mørk’s version of the Bach Solo Cello
Suites is due in the Spring. He is clearly
a musician of much perception. Without doubt,
he will have much to say.