One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
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