Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Cello Sonata in g minor, Op. 19(1901) [38:31] Vocalise Op. 34. No. 14 (1912) [6:07]
Variation 18 (Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini) Op. 43 (1934)
(Transcriptions by Gautier Capuçon and Gabriela Montero) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Cello Sonata in C, Op. 119 (1948) [26:30]
Capuçon, (cello); Gabriela Montero (piano)
rec. 21-23 November 2006, Auditoria Stelio Molo, Lugano,
CLASSICS 3857862 [75:09]
pair two of their hottest young guns in the persons of Gautier
Gabriela Montero for this sweeping collection of late-romantic
and early modern works for cello and piano.
just begun to recover from a bout of depression brought on
by the failure of his first symphony when he composed both
his second piano concerto and this sonata for cello. Eschewing
traditional sonata structure, he created a bold work for
the piano with a cello part that seldom could be called virtuosic
and would more appropriately be deemed orchestral. And yet,
the two parts come together to make an impressive whole;
a tone poem of sorts for solo instruments.
Mr. Capuçon is one of the finer young artists to come along in
recent years, and I have spoken favorably of his work both
as a soloist and in chamber music performances in the past.
Ms. Montero, who has made a name for herself not only as
a virtuoso, but also as a fine improviser, is well matched
here providing some fiery playing where called for and fully
in command of the work’s demanding requirements. This is
a performance of many shades and nuances, bold when needed
and subtle at other times with careful attention to balance
and to the rise and fall of tension within the music.
The two transcriptions
that round out the first half of the recital are pleasant
enough additions, but do we really need another snippet from
the Paganini variations? Not really in my opinion. Its inclusion
seemed more like a tacked-on selling point than a real artistic
On to the Prokofiev.
This, strangely enough is perhaps a more melodic work than
the Rachmaninov. I have always found Prokofiev to be a master
of a good tune, even if that tune is a bit disjunctive at
times. Written for Rostropovich, it is a work full of ideas,
overflowing with ear-catching and beautifully constructed
counterpoint. Our artists give us a fine performance here,
again, exquisitely balanced and cleanly and articulately
These young artists
appear fully equipped to become the legends of their generation,
and it is most encouraging to see EMI putting forth an ambitious
amount of new releases with these rising stars. Kudos to
all concerned for some very fine performances indeed.
Founding Editor Rob Barnett Senior Editor
John Quinn Seen & Heard Editor Emeritus Bill Kenny Editor in Chief
Vacant MusicWeb Webmaster
David Barker MusicWeb Founder Len Mullenger
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