Jan Vogler / Bruno Canino

Beethoven & Schumann: The Works for Violoncello and Piano

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Pleasant enough as far they go, these performances of the complete cello works of Beethoven and Schumann by cellist Jan Vogler and pianist Bruno Canino will not change the course of mighty rivers or lower the price of bread, but they do make for three relaxing hours of listening. Vogler is more of a warm-hearted lyrical player than a powerhouse dramatic player and his approach works better in Beethoven's variations than in sonatas, better in his Adagio e cantabiles than his Allegro con brios, better in his early High Classical style than in later gnarly and gnomic manner, and best of all in Schumann's passionate outpourings of pure early Romantic ardor. It's not that Vogler can't play the music: he's a consummate musician with an impeccable technique and a round, singing tone. It's when the music calls for expressive emotionality that Vogler excels, but when it calls for risk-taking impetuosity, Vogler declines. Bruno Canino is a fine pianist and a better accompanist, and he rightly demurs to Vogler's interpretive lead from start to finish. Berlin Classics' mid-'90s digital sound is clear, close, and very immediate.

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