Robert Schumann graced the cello repertoire not only with one of its most prominent concertos, but also with four sets of satisfying miniatures. Although all but the Op. 102 set on folk tunes was originally conceived for other instruments, it is with the cello that they have found their true home. Brazilian-born cellist Antonio Meneses does a superb job demonstrating to listeners why these works are best suited for his instrument. His sound is quite lean but never tinny. The result is a soaring and clear projection that easily rises above the piano. His interpretation is flexible and insightful, quickly changing gears between the contrasting character pieces. Intonation, articulation, and pacing are all quite refined. Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata is another work that was not originally composed for the cello but now stands as a cornerstone of the repertoire. Meneses' focused sound is again an asset in this work, yielding a graceful and carefree character to the piece. Pianist Gerard Wyss complements Meneses' sound and approach perfectly. While there are plenty of opportunities for the piano to become overbearing, Wyss provides a subdued, elegant background throughout.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Adagio & Allegro for horn (or violin or cello) & piano in A flat major, Op. 70|
|Phantasiestücke (3 Fantasy Pieces) for clarinet (or cello or violin) & piano, Op. 73|
|Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102|
|Märchenbilder for viola (or violin) & piano, Op. 113|
|Sonata for arpeggione & piano in A minor ("Arpeggione Sonata"), D. 821|