British Cello Music

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British Cello Music

  • Tema-Sacher
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano
  • (The) Holy Boy (1913)
  • Fantasy
  • Passacaglia
  • Suite No. 3
  • Tema-Sacher
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano
  • (The) Holy Boy (1913)
  • Fantasy
  • Passacaglia
  • Suite No. 3

Julian Lloyd Webber has never been content to plough the furrow of basic cello repertoire either in the concert hall or on record. In the particular area of British music he: has achieved some notable first recordings, and here is a collection which includes four substantial novelties.
The most recent of these is Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy for Cello, completed only last year. This solo piece comprises six brief movements, the first of which is repeated to end the work. Sometimes Arnold's familiar cheerful, outgoing manner is in evidence, but more often there is a mood of introspection, and even an uncharacteristically sardonic form of utterance. Walton's solo Passacaglia, dedicated to Rostropovich, was written at the end of the composer's life, and comprises ten variations on an eight-bar theme. There is no sign here of any diminution in Walton's energy, even if the invention is not vintage. Britten's terse one-minute-long Tema ''Sacher'' is also a very late piece, written for Paul Sacher's 75th birthday.
. The admirable John McCabe joins Lloyd Webber in Rawsthorne's Cello Sonata, cast in the traditional three-movement form. This is perhaps the most impressive work on the record, rich in imagination and invention, but with a certain quality of turbulence and darkness one doesn't quite associate with this composer's personality. Ireland's simple yet affecting little carol makes an effective pendant to the Rawsthorne work.
Lloyd Webber plays this programme with his usual insight and total commitment, and if the playing time is short the recording quality is quite outstanding in its richness and presence.'

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