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Eric TANGUY (b. 1968)
Cello Concerto No. 2 (2000) [27:51]
Cello Concerto No. 1 (1994-95) [29:36]
Anne Gastinel (cello)
Orchestre National de France/Alain Altinoglu
rec. Oct 2006, Apr 2007, Auditorium Olivier Messiaen, Maison de Radio France, Paris. DDD
NAIVE V5078 [57:41] 

Tanguy’s two cello concertos and the Three Esquisses for solo cello share their genesis between three fine cellists, Rostropovich, Marc Coppey and Anne Gastinel.

The Second Concerto is first on this disc. It owes its existence to the total eclipse of the sun on 11 August 1999. Indeed the Second Concerto was commissioned by Rostropovich whom Tanguy had met shortly after the premiere of Tanguy's Eclipse at Rheims. This wild-eyed, wilfully strong and impassioned work sounds as if it was written for Rostropovich such is its gutsy attack and grasp of narrative trajectory. It reminds me of the Sallinen cello concerto. While there is drama aplenty the work also embraces a singing and confiding soul yet quite at odds with the language of say Shelomo. Its third movement marked Très mysterieux, ends in a silvery sheen and shimmer. The finale vif is brusque and exciting. The First Concerto is in three movements and while a shade more extravagantly protesting and angularly fragmented it has much in common with its successor. Gastinel plays both works with every sign of selfless identification and absorption. It is fitting that she is the only cellist to pay both concertos, the Esquisses (1994) and the Nocturne for cello and piano (1995). She also plays the third cello-concertante work which is linked to Rostropovich - the In Terra Pace, premiered by her on 25 June 2007. 

The recording and the performances are stunning. Just try the climactic outbursts at the end of the first movement of the First Concerto; a strong contrast with the benediction of the same concerto's Dolce and the Kodaly-smouldering of the final Très animé

Two eruptive concertos from the last two decades. Who knows … perhaps Tanguy, Gastinel and Naïve are planning a companion.

Rob Barnett


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