Nicola Porpora (16861768) was one of the most important and successful composers of the Neapolitan School in Italy. His fame was widespread as he worked in the European capitals London, Dresden and Vienna, where his works were successfully staged. Porpora was also a singer and teacher, which explains the strong vocal quality of his instrumental works. The 6 Cello Sonatas recorded on this CD try to emulate the vox humana, expressing the human emotions through instrumental virtuosity and phrasing.
Nine cello sonatas by Vivaldi have survived. Six of them were published as a set in Paris in about 1740; that set, mistakenly known as the composer's Op. 14, contains the sonatas recorded in this release. The three remaining sonatas come from manuscript collections. All but one of the six works are cast in the slow-fast-slow-fast pattern of movements of the sonata da chiesa. The odd one out, RV46, in fact, retains the four movement sequence but inclines towards the sonata da camera in the use of dance titles. The music of these sonatas is almost consistently interesting, often reaching high points of expressive eloquence, as we find, for example, in the justifiably popular Sonata in E minor, RV40. Christophe Coin brings to life these details in the music with technical assurance and a spirit evidently responsive to its poetic content. Particularly affecting instances of this occur in the third movements of the A minor and the E minor Sonatas where Coin shapes each phrase, lovingly achieving at the same time a beautifully sustained cantabile.
…Wispelwey plays an English instrument by Barak Norman (1710) whose bright, immediate timbre is a welcome asset in these sonatas. An involving issue, enhanced by discreetly balanced and mercifully uncoloured recorded sound.
In this set of six sonatas for cello and continuo, Geminiani [1687-1762] follows the Corellian model […] of movements—except for the last, which is in three movements. Geminiani’s writing for the solo instrument shows an advance on Corelli in the brilliant figuration in the fast movements. Slow movements can sometimes be a bit perfunctory, lasting less than a minute, though this is not always the case. Geminiani apparently enjoyed working with the sonorities created by two cellos, and in his contrapuntal movements sometimes allows the solo and continuo cellos to cross lines.
Jaap ter Linden […] handles Geminiani’s elaborate music with ease. His smooth and rounded tone serves the music well. The continuo players provide able accompaniment. The performers are recorded in close perspective in excellent sound. (Ron Salemi, Fanfare)
Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini (Lucca, Italy, February 19, 1743 – Madrid, Spain, May 28, 1805) was an Italian classical era composer and cellist whose music retained a courtly and galante style while he matured somewhat apart from the major European musical centers. Boccherini is most widely known for one particular minuet from his String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5 (G 275), and the Cello Concerto in B flat major (G 482). This last work was long known in the heavily altered version by German cellist and prolific arranger Friedrich Grützmacher, but has recently been restored to its original version. Boccherini composed several guitar quintets including the "Fandango" which was influenced by Spanish music.
Filling only two CDs, the complete works for cello and piano are quintessential and vintage Beethoven. Timora Rosler and Klara Wurtz have played together for more than 15 years, having won several chamber music prizes. They performed the Beethoven cycle several times in concert over the years, and their interpretation has ripened to such an extent that the time came to record it. Every note is alive and vibrant, played with gusto and feeling, alternating melancholy and joy, sadness and sheer fun. Recorded January 19-23, 2013, at Sala congressi del Parco naturalistico di Onara in Padua, Italy.
Jacqueline Mary du Pré, OBE (26 January 1945 – 19 October 1987) was a British cellist. She is particularly famous for performing the Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor, her interpretation of which has been described as "definitive" and "legendary". Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28, and led to her premature death…
"The Accademia Bizantina under conductor and keyboardist Ottavio Dantone is one of a number of young Italian historical-instrument groups that have been revolutionizing the world of Baroque instrumental music performance. (…) The fugues are fast, intense, and dramatic, with wide dynamic range gaining momentum toward a climax. Perhaps the most satisfying of all are the cello sonatas under the care of Baroque cellist Mauro Valli, you get the feeling in the slow movements that you're hearing the Baroque cello, still an acquired taste for many listeners, take on its proper sound as its bendable tones connect with highly expressive lines. An excellent release…" ~AMG