Magazine article Gramophone

Gal: Concertino for Cello and String Orchestra

Magazine article Gramophone

Gal: Concertino for Cello and String Orchestra

Article excerpt

Gal Concertino for Cello and String Orchestra, Op 87 (a). Solo Cello Sonata, Op 109a. Solo Cello Suite, Op 1096 Matthew Sharp vc (a) English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods Avie (F) AV2380 (68' * DDD)

By my reckoning this is the 15th Avie recording to feature the music of Hans Gal and, despite its worth, there's no doubting the label's musicians and producers--Kenneth Woods and Simon Fox-Gal the most tireless among them--got to the meatier works first. Woods argues in his lucid booklet note that there's 'nothing frivolous' about the Cello Concertino but this is undeniably a lighter piece than the multi-layered, whimsical and tragic Concerto of 21 years earlier. Gal's 1965 Concertino, recorded for the first time here, is a work of consistent shape and at times of distinctive Viennese urgency; but its reflection of Gal's characteristic oscillation between darkness and light is altogether simpler and its finale is really just a serenade. Matthew Sharp plays with attractive cleanliness in all three movements but the ESO strings can sound thin and untidy.

Anyone writing in this resolutely Romantic style in 1965 was clearly in a world of their own. …

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