Magazine article Gramophone

Ligeti: Cello Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Ligeti: Cello Concerto

Article excerpt

Ligeti

Cello Concerto (a). Piano Concerto (b).

Mysteries of the Macabre (c)

(b) Marco Blaauw tpt (a) Nicolas Altstaedt vc (a) Alberto Rosado pf PluralEnsemble / Fabian Panisello

NEOS (F) NE0S11013 (45' * DDD)

Of Ligeti's five concertos, the earliest is for cello, from 1966. It's also his least known, perhaps because the solo part doesn't attract star soloists, who find themselves primus inter pares within an ensemble of 14 instruments, leading them from silence through a rapt unfolding of a single note for the first few minutes. The second movement is far more overtly virtuoso though no less shadowy and muted in its way, and the NEOS engineers have found an excellent balance for Nicolas Altstaedt and his colleagues in the Italian PluralEnsemble, more eerily atmospheric than the DG recording (1/95) and more detailed than the German radio set-up for Siegfried Palm (RCA--nla). As the work's dedicatee and first performer, he makes as much of a concerto out of the piece as he can, whereas Altstaedt is almost (not quite) lost among the nocturnal flutterings of the second movement's variations. …

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