Magazine article Gramophone

CPE Bach: Cello Concertos-Wq170 H432

Magazine article Gramophone

CPE Bach: Cello Concertos-Wq170 H432

Article excerpt

CPE Bach

Cello Concertos3--Wq170 H432; Wq172 H439.

Symphony, Wq173H648

(a) Jean-Guihen Queyras vc

Ensemble Resonanz / Riccardo Minasi

Harmonia Mundi (F) HMM90 2331 (53' * DDD)

There can't be many ensembles around as stylistically fleet--footed as Hamburg's Ensemble Resonanz. I'm still thinking fondly back to their Haas, Bartok and Berg programme on the Elbphilharmonie's opening weekend; and now here they are playing historically informed CPE Bach with equal musical sensitivity and intellectual panache, joined by their artist-in-residence Riccardo Minasi (himself a period-performance chameleon) and their other regular collaborator, Jean-Guihen Queyras. While this may be their first disc on Harmonia Mundi with Minasi, they've already collaborated with him to record two sets of CPE Bach symphonies for Es-Dur. So when you top off this well-oiled CPE Bach outfit with one of today's finest and most thoughtful period-performance cellists, it's no wonder the results are magnificently fine.

Toolkit points first, and while Ensemble Resonanz's strings do 'do' gut, for this recording they've gone for the more brilliant-toned metal option. Interestingly Queyras has too, and the detailed attention he's paid to colouring every note puts paid to any notion that you need gut strings to present the full gamut of such subtleties.

The tempos are briskly flowing but never feel hurried; just enough to allow the dynamic swells applied to the opening of the A minor Concerto (Wql70) to feel like smooth waves; also to allow Queyras's semiquavers in the same movement to come over as crisp flutters and his triplet quaver figures to melt seamlessly together. …

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