‘This set of five discs is an invitation to a rather special journey: through what you hear, and what you read too, you will traverse, guided by the cello, not one history but several histories. With these Cello Stories, our intention is to show you how an instrument and its repertoire have taken shape whilst retaining the imprint and memory of diverse origins. I have selected the musical programme from my recordings for Alpha – some of them previously unreleased – to complement the text by Marc Vanscheeuwijck and numerous contemporary illustrations.’ –Bruno Cocset
…This CD indeed offers a new approach to Antonio Vivaldi with recordings of absolutely rare chamber repertoire. The sonatas are for violoncello solo, but are here performed with a variety of continuo instruments: harpsichord, organ, theorbo, guitar and double bass or violone. The whole is very closely and clearly recorded, giving the listener the opportunity to savour the delightful sound combinations and the intense violoncello playing of Bruno Cocset who, although definitely an early music specialist, here reminds me of Pablo Casals in the way he invests "soul" particularly in the slower movements…
It is only recently that two seemingly unconnected names, those of Vivaldi and the viola da gamba, have been uttered in the same breath. The established, uncontested view on the matter was quite simply this: from the middle of the 17th century, the viol, which was still flourishing north of the Alps, had all but disappeared in Italy, where it had been replaced by the bass violin and, subsequently, by the cello.
Quadrivium was composed in 1969 and marks the beginning of Maderna’s final creative period, during which he wrote impressive and headstrong works for large symphonic forces. Aura was commissioned for the 80th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was premiered in 1972. Amanda was written in 1966 and is uninhibited, cheerful and lyrical.