Various Artists

Chelo Encantador

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The Chelo Encantador installment of Madacy's Simplemente Clasicos series focuses on the cello, presenting 15 classical pieces featuring that instrument prominently. Work from heavyweights like Debussy, Bach, and Schumann rounds out a set that also includes selections from Fauré, Falla, and Saint Saëns. The latter composer's The Swan From "Carnival of the Animals" is an urgent, anxious affair. As an insistent piano traces lines in the background, the cello's rich tones cry with palpable emotion. Dassow's Celtic Fantasy for Cello is another standout. The solo cello performance moves confidently along, painting the Celtic-flavored melody as ably as a full chamber quartet would. Unfortunately, this track and a good portion of the entire album suffer from the inclusion of nature noises as a supplement. Rolling thunder and pattering rain simmer in numerous songs, ruining the contemplative nature of the album and cheapening what could have been some strong classical performances.

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