Mischa Maisky / Lily Maisky

Adagietto

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This release from Latvian cellist Mischa Maisky, with his daughter Lily on piano and some guest stars at the end, seems to be a pleasant recital of cello music in a single tempo. For those in search of such a thing, it will serve the purpose: Maisky has a warm tone with a strong link to the old Russian school, and the two Bach arrangements are probably worth the price of admission in themselves for their glimpse into the older way of performing Bach. Really, though, there are three parts to the program. The first consists of the opening work, which gives the album its title: the Adagietto movement from Mahler's Symphony No. 5 is offered in a unique arrangement that lets Mischa Maisky play all the parts except for that of the harp. The second part consists of the bulk of the album, with conventional arrangements of familiar melodies (the Tchaikovsky Valse sentimentale is a representative example). Finally there are excerpts from chamber works by Schubert, Brahms, and Schumann in live concerts, featuring big names -- pianist Martha Argerich, violinist Janine Jansen, and violist Julian Rachlin -- as well as the cellist's son Sascha Maisky on violin. Taken strictly, these three parts do not form a really coherent whole, but that's not of great importance: the mood is consistent, and those looking for a collection of fetching slow movements will find it here.

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