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Maria Kliegel: Virtuoso Cello Encores
Gaspar CASSADÓ (1897-1966)
Dance of the Green Devil [4:04]
David POPPER (1843-1913)
Fantasy on Little Russian Songs [11:38]
Serenade Op.54 No.2 [3:58]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Air from Suite No.3 (transcribed by Leonard Rose) [5:28]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Ständchen (transcribed by Henri Marteau) [4:07]
Franz SCHUBERT (1808-1878)
Die Biene (transcribed by Werner Thomas-Mifune) [1:17]
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)
Intermezzo from Goyescas (transcribed by Gaspar Cassadó) [4:57]
Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Tarantella from The Gadfly Op.97b (transcribed by Jusas Tschelkauskas) [3:04]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Habanera (transcribed by Paul Bazelaire) [2:58]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
The Girl with Flaxen Hair (transcribed by L-R. Feuillard) [2:24]
Jean Baptiste SENAILLÉ (1687-1730)
Allegro spiritoso (transcribed by J. Salmon) [2:29]
Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881)
Cantilena (transcribed by Jénö Hubay) [6:36]
Siegfried BARCHET (1918-1982)
Boulevard de Garavan [1:37]
Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880)
Danse bohémienne Op.28 [10:19]
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Vocalise Op.34 No.14 (transcribed by Leonard Rose) [6:53]
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Short Story (transcribed by Samuel Dushkin) [2:59]
Maria Kliegel (cello); Raimund Havenith (piano)
Rec. Tonstudio van Geest, Heidelberg, Germany in November 1990 DDD
NAXOS 8.557943 [75:14]



If I have a gripe about this disc it would be about the title. The programme is attractive and interesting but only the word “cello” seems apposite for all of it. Without doubt, Maria Kliegel is a very fine virtuoso cellist but I can’t believe she was taxed greatly by most of the works performed here. Quite a few of them are potential encores but extended works such as Popper’s Fantasy on Little Russian Songs, and Offenbach’s Danse bohémienne would surely warrant an appearance in a programme proper. The listing above may sum up the cellist’s lot – eleven of the sixteen pieces are transcriptions and the other five were written by cellists.

The performance of Rachmaninov’s Vocalise seems to me to exemplify Kliegel’s approach to these works – clean, lean and musical, sparing on rubato and hinting at emotional depths. These are not the sort of performances that a Rostropovich would give us but easier to live with and a more realistic example for aspiring young cellists. I have not come across Raimund Havenith before but his support is excellent and teams well with Kliegel.

Most of the shorter works hardly require any introduction but a few deserve specific mention. Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassado’s Dance of the Green Devil is an ideal and spirited opener in ternary form with a magical central slow section framed by a playful dance for a rather endearing type of devil. I presume that The Bee by the “other” Franz Schubert (born in Dresden and no relation to the Schubert) was written before Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee – it seems to be a prototype for it. Finally, and most striking of all is Barchet’s Boulevard de Garavan, one of his Images de Menton from 1963. This is a kind of study in pizzicato where the name of the game is to imitate the guitar.

Lovers of the cello will enjoy this disc and it is also for amateur cellists learning the repertoire and wanting to hear some very professional performances. The recordings were made 15 years ago and sound very well – presumably this is not their first outing but a reissue. At bargain price this disc can be snapped up with confidence.

Patrick C Waller

see also Review by Göran Forsling




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