Magazine article Gramophone

'British Works for Cello and Piano, Vol 4'

Magazine article Gramophone

'British Works for Cello and Piano, Vol 4'

Article excerpt

'British Works for Cello and Piano, Vol 4'

RR Bennett Cello Sonata Hoddinott Cello Sonata No 2, Op 96 No 1 Leighton Partita, Op 35 Lutyens Constants, Op 110 Paul Watkins vc Huw Watkins pf Chandos (F) CHAN10862 (68' * DDD)

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In bringing together four highly contrasting British composers of the later 20th century, this vibrant recording, with splendid playing by Paul and Huw Watkins, demonstrates the extent of the cello's inspiration and versatility in a range of modern idioms. The instrument's propensity for lyricism and sustained line is maintained as a feature of all the works, but there is much scope for the exploitation of the cello's percussive capabilities as well as its extraordinary range, variety of tessituras and changing timbres.

This is evident in the earliest work featured here--Kenneth Leighton's Partita (1959)--which begins with a singing, searingly haunting Elegy, a rhythmically dynamic Scherzo (typical of Leighton's compelling 'mechanistic' moto perpetuo style) and, in a microcosm of contrasting movements, a Theme and Variations, effectively a suite of character pieces. …

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