Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: 'The Complete Works for Cello and Piano'

Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: 'The Complete Works for Cello and Piano'

Article excerpt

Mendelssohn

'The Complete Works for Cello and Piano'

Cello Sonatas--No 1. Op 45; No 2, Op 58. Assai tranquillo. Lied ohne Worte, Op 109. Variations concertantes, Op 17

Marie Macleod vc Martin Sturfalt pf

Stone Records [F] 5060192 780383 (63' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Vasteras Concert Hall, Sweden, September 9 & 10, 2009

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Mendelssohn's music for cello and piano runs the full gamut, from simple lyrical pieces to large-scale Beethoveman sonata structures. This poses a challenge for his interpreters, which Macleod and Sturfalt meet triumphantly whenever the music is lively or agitated. Sturfalt tosses off the many quick passages with nonchalant ease, and Macleod finds just the right passionate tone for the more intensely emotional moments, for example the minor-key episode in the Variations concertantes. Together, they are adept at keeping a sense of momentum, whether the music is energetic or flowing more calmly.

The duo is recorded quite closely; this, combined with Sturfalt's insistence on clarity, gives, in places, an unsuitably dry quality to the sound, at the opening of the Second Sonata, for instance. …

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