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Music from France and Spain
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)

Kaddisch (Deux Mélodies hébraïques) (1914) [4.21]
Pièce en forme de Habanera (1907) [2.47]
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)

Danse Espagnole (La Vida Breve) – transcribed Maurice Gendron (1904-05) [3.39]
Nana (1914-15) [2.15]
Asturiana (1915) [1.50]
Ritual Fire Dance (El Amor Brujo) transcribed Gregor Piatigorsky [3.19]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)

Elégie Op.24 (1880) [5.23]
Sicilienne Op.78 (1898) [3.00]
Après un rêve [2.39]
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)

Andaluza (Danzas Españolas) – transcribed Pablo Casals (1892-1900) [3.23]
Intermezzo (Goyescas) arranged Gaspar Cassadò (1915) [4.02]
Orientale (Danzas Españolas) (1892-1900)[2.38]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Reverie – transcribed R Ronchini (1890) [3.37]
Second Ariette Oubliée - transcribed R Ronchini (1887) [2.48]
Beau soir – transcribed Jamie Walton (1882) [2.07]
Romance – transcribed A. Gretchaninoff (1891) [1.56]
Gaspar CASSADÒ (1896-1966)

Solo Suite

Preludio Fantasia [4.56]
Sardana (Danza) [3.29]
Intermezzo e Danza Finale [4.42]
Jamie Walton (cello)
Daniel Grimwood (piano)
Recorded Cadogan Hall, London, July 2004
SOMMCD 042 [63.20]


This is an attractive recital of mainly short pieces, many in transcription – famous or novel – that hews close to the Casals-Maréchal-Fournier-Gendron lineage of programming. That French players have excelled in their own repertoire won’t come as much of a surprise, still less that their Iberian affiliations should have led to comparable excellence. The young British cellist Jamie Walton and his fine accompanist Daniel Grimwood espouse the repertoire with laudable nobility and sang froid and the cellist adds to his enterprise with his own transcription of Beau Soir. The recording venue was Cadogan Hall in London, an eccentric looking building now in regular use as a concert venue, and the sound is attractive and naturally warm.

One hears in Kaddisch that Walton is not interested in spuriously emotive playing. Tonally things are kept within natural expressive bounds. There’s not the hypertension of the Russian school or, in the Pièce en forme de Habanera, Fournier’s oratorical projection. Walton is more equable and limpid and spins a warmly suggestive legato line. The Danse Espagnole, in the Maurice Gendron transcription, is once more equable, firmly centred, measured. Some perhaps may find it too reserved, not quite extrovert enough, but others will note his expressive little portamento in Nana and the gauze-like humidity he evokes. His Asturiana is leisurely and full of clarity though an old timer such as Maréchal married tonal allure with quick tempi to imperishable effect. His Fauré sequence gives us a rather buttoned up Elégie – fast as well – though one in its central panel that seems to show awareness of Du Pré’s recording. And there’s a dry eyed Après un rêve which for all its welcome aristocracy of utterance does tend, for me at least, to lack some Gallic sensuality. His Granados Intermezzo could be more "call to arms" and maybe more enlivened by gestures but it’s a consistent feature of his playing that Walton doesn’t project in this way. His Debussy collection is sensitively done with some especially fine diminuendi in the Rêverie. The biggest work here is the Cassadò solo suite, which Walton plays with animation and vigour, controlling rhythm finely in the Preludio and exploring a wide range of tone colours in the contrastive animation of the Sardana. The Intermezzo and danza finale is well sprung and has a due array of colours. This si a work that’s gaining more and more interest – and a recording such as this can only help that worthwhile cause.

Released in their New Horizons series this is an attractive conspectus of Walton and Grimwood’s youthful reserve in this repertoire. As Klemperer said of Bruno Walter’s Mahler; "I do it otherwise" but there’s always a place for polished reticence in an often over-heated repertoire such as this one.

Jonathan Woolf


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