This disc of contemporary repertoire for cello intersperses composed
works with short improvisations. Each of these focuses on a particular
type of sound from the instrument. For example, the first features
purely percussive sounds, using the instrument as a drum, while
the second offers short glissandi. These improvisations provide
an insight into different aspects of the contemporary cello, as
well as giving us an idea of Palosz’s approach to his instrument.
Pawel Szymanski’s A Kaleidoscope for M.C.E.
rhythmically driven work, with repeating fragments and some strong
syncopation. The music is written in a modern language, but plays
with Baroque forms and ideas, possessing a sense of underlying
tradition. The music takes on its own momentum, building and developing
gradually through its virtuoso lines. The M.C.E. of the title
refers to Escher, and the music pays tribute to his optical illusions.
This is an uncompromising and highly impressive work, played with
the utmost conviction by Mikolaj Palosz.
Palosz’s tone quality comes to the fore in Carter’s
, built from an opening three note fragment and
using three main motivic elements. Figment II
Rembemering Mr Ives
is a homage to Charles Ives, quoting
Sonata and providing references to American
folk-music and hymn tunes. Palosz plays expressively, communicating
well and providing a sense of clarity to the music.
Both Lutosławski and Dutilleux wrote pieces in tribute to Paul Sacher, commissioned
by Rostropovich, and they are heard consecutively here. Both pieces use the name
to provide pitches - Eb (eS), A, C, B(H), E and D (Re). Lutosławski’s
work makes widespread use of quarter tones, while the Dutilleux’s is a
tripartite work with an improvisatory feel. The unity of the pitched material
creates an interesting link between these two works, highlighting the differences
in the composers’ styles.
James Dillon is known both for the complexity of his music and
for its non-European influences. Parjanya Vata
title from Sankrit characterisations of wind and rain. There is
much contained within this eleven and a half minute work. It is
the kind of piece that probably requires multiple hearings to
enable the listener to delve fully into Dillon’s compositional
world. This is a tour-de-force for the performer, and once again
Palosz provides dramatic expression and conveys the gestures in
the music with vigour.
is another challenging work, composed in 1977 and
using a vast array of sounds, techniques and textures. This is a fascinating
piece which challenges the player and demonstrates the wide spectrum of the cello’s
sonorities. Dramatic and energetic, the piece deals with a depiction of ‘one
of the most feared creatures in the ancient world’, and has a sense of
dark foreboding. It is consistently fascinating, with some wonderful sounds and
an unrelenting sense of direction through the piece.
This is an excellent disc that showcases not only the cello but this very fine