Cello Fiesta! features two young cellists at the beginning of what promises to be bright careers -- German Marie Elisabeth Hecker, who was 20 when she made the recording, and Georgian Giorgi Kharadze, who was 23. KREMERata BALTICA, the ensemble created by Gidon Kremer in 1997, celebrates its 10th anniversary with this release that includes solo concertos, orchestral music spotlighting the cello, and an arrangement of Chick Corea's La Fiesta for two cellos, percussion, and orchestra. Hecker plays the Haydn C major concerto with polished tone, elegance, and complete assurance; she is clearly a talent to watch out for. Kharadze's tone in Tchaikovsky's Pezzo capriccio in B minor and Georgian composer Vaja Azarashvili's Concerto for cello and chamber orchestra is more colorful and romantically textured, which is appropriate for the material, as is the passion of his interpretation. The Azarashvili is a deeply felt and lovely piece that deserves broader exposure. Kharadze also plays in Ginastera's Glosses of themes of Pau Casals, for string orchestra and string quintet "in lontano," as part of the quintet. Written late in the composer's life, when he had synthesized his modernist style with his folk-like roots, the piece beautifully implants Casals' simple themes in a rich harmonic and texturally varied setting that's hugely satisfying. Andrei Pushkarev's arrangement of La Fiesta makes a flamboyant encore piece for this diverse collection. KREMERata BALTICA plays with its characteristic stylistic sensitivity and flair. Profil's sound is warm and intimate, with a lively sense of presence.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, H. 7b/1|
|Glosses on Themes of Pau Casals, for string quintet & string orchestra, Op. 46|