This very promising debut disc shines some deserved publicity
on a rising star of the cello.† Andreas Brantelid was only 21
at the time of the recording sessions and, while he still has
some maturing to do, this collection is a most auspicious start
to his career.
His choice of recordings is very shrewd: we might
have balked at his hubris had he chosen to play the Elgar or
DvořŠk concertos on a debut recital, but these works suit
him very well.† He shows a very assured technique throughout
and varies his approach to the demands of each work. An over-arching
lyricism seems to be the main thrust of his approach.
That is certainly true of the Rococo Variations
where grace and elegance are the hallmarks of his style.† The
theme is presented with unaffected poise and the chamber music
textures of the orchestra allow him to shine through ideally.†
The slower variations are most alluring, while the busier ones
show off his quite remarkable passagework to great effect.†
Itís also worth adding that the Danish National Symphony Orchestra
provide an accompaniment which is entirely appropriate throughout:
virtuosic when necessary, but never overtly showy.† Briefly
put, the limelight is always on Brantelid, but never to the
detriment of the music.
The lyrical passages of the Schumann and Saint-SaŽns
are also the most successful aspects.† One might perhaps wish
for more stridency during the first subject of the Saint-SaŽnsí
first movement, but the work moves at a good pace and the slow
movement is very attractive.† The second movement of the Schumann
is equally lovely and moves to an impressive finale where Brantelid
accomplishes all the leaps with aplomb.
A most impressive
debut, then, and a very appealing disc for anyone who fancies