One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Founding Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 


Gloria Dei Cantores
All Night Vigil


Whispering Mozart


absolutely essential release


The best recording I will hear all year


Long awaited recordings


Absolutely enthralling


Left me longing for more


A superb 90th birthday recording


A top recommendation.


Superb advocacy


Tchaikovsky Sibelius

 


Complete ballet

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

These prices cannot last!
Compare Toccata discs
Presto £13.50 +£2 pp
Amazon £15.53 post free
MusicWeb £10.50 post free

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Suite for Cello, Op. 72 (1964) [22:09]
Second Suite for Cello, Op. 80 (1967) [19:26]
Third Suite for Cello, Op. 87 (1971) [18:17]
Tema ‘Sacher’ (1976) [1:22]
Jamie Walton (cello)
rec. 31 October-2 November 2011, Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh.
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD336 [61:16]

Having recorded the Cello Symphony and the Cello Sonata for Signum Classics, Jamie Walton here concentrates his focus on Britten’s three solo cello suites. He proves a most persuasive and sensitive interpreter, varying his bow weight and colour as the individual movements and moods demand. He is attentive to the dynamic shaping of the multi-movement suites, and characterises them strongly without losing sight of the greater architectures involved, not least in the towering Op.87 work.
 
Thus he evokes the veiled melancholy of the opening of the First Suite and its ensuing intensity with finely-calibrated control. The Fuga is especially well done, but the pizzicati in the Serenata no less so. Expressive though he is in the Canto terza, there is a determined quality that marks out the concluding movement. The matter of dynamics is especially noticeable in the slow movement of the Op.80 suite where a disquieting sense of incompletion is suggested in the concluding Ciaccona.
 
I had never thought of that well-worked trope, ‘Orpheus and the Beasts’, in relation to Britten’s suites, but in the Canto of the Third Suite Walton evokes this contrast between abrasive determinism and yielding pliancy with great sensitivity. It seems, in his hands, a microcosmic refraction of the similar moment in the slow movement of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. Indeed his playing of this suite, whilst not as richly characterised as that of its dedicatee Rostropovich, is nevertheless very fine indeed. What is especially impressive is that he finds the interrogative nature of the music so well, that he delves deep to the self-questioning of the Passacaglia, for instance. Tema ‘Sacher’ was Britten’s last work composed for a solo instrument, and written in his last year.
 
Acknowledging that Rostropovich’s are benchmark recordings, Walton’s still pack a real punch. They are more visceral than the recent recording by Antoine Pierlot on Transart TR169. Pierlot doesn’t include the little Tema ‘Sacher’, and is rather more lyrical than Walton’s darker reading of the suites.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 
Previous review: Dominy Clements 

Britten discography & review index: Cello suites