This 2-CD set puts together Vivaldi's all nine surviving cello sonatas. Vivaldi may have composed more sonatas for cello for all we know, but this is all we have left. And it is a wonderful legacy, although less known than his violin concertos, for example. Compared with the violin concertos, many of which sound rather run-off-the-mill, these sonatas sound more thoughtful and meditative.
British cellist Steven Isserlis points out that the four composers represented on this disc have a number of things in common – they were born within 30 years of each other, had nationalist tendencies, and all lived at some point in Paris – but the major unifying theme is the fact that Isserlis commissioned all these arrangements of pieces that had originally existed in other formats. The circumstances of the creation of each of the arrangements are fascinating ……Stephen Eddins @ AllMusic
Dimitry Markevitch (1923 - 2002) was a Russian concert cellist, researcher, teacher and musicologist. He studied under Gregor Piatigorsky and founded the Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales (IHEM) in Switzerland. His brother, Igor Markevitch, was an orchestral conductor.Markevitch rediscovered several important manuscripts, including Westphal and Kellner transcriptions of several Bach Suites, and published his own edition of the Suites, playing all six in recital at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1964. He was one of the first people to champion "authentic" instrumental techniques and played a baroque cello for pieces composed before the 19th century.
John Holloway and Davitt Moroney have set up a musically rewarding partnership in these brilliantly inventive works, furthermore adding to their programme the two lovely sonatas for violin and continuo long attributed to Bach, and justly so. In both of them they are joined by Susan Sheppard (continuo cello). For these sonatas Moroney has preferred a chamber organ to a harpsichord.
The famous Russian pianist-composer, who became an American citizen in 1958, was as well known in 1930s Paris as Stravinsky and heir to a number of Slav cultures in Europe and Asia. In the course of long visits, he also analysed the music of the Far East (China, Japan, Korea…), endeavouring to find a common language in the various folklores he discovered.
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) stands apart from the legions of Brahms imitators and conservative late Romantics for one thing: melody. It seeps from every theme and cadence. Everything I've heard from his pen is overflowing with inventive tunefulness. It is no wonder he enjoyed a close friendship with another great melodist of his day, Edvard Grieg. Röntgen's enormous output includes 14 cello sonatas, many of which were dedicated to and performed by Pablo Casals.