Raphael Wallfisch / Scottish Ensemble

C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concertos

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As every first-class internationally recognized cellist should, Raphael Wallfisch is making the rounds of the standard repertoire for his instrument in his recordings for Nimbus -- the complete sonatas and variations by Beethoven, the complete sonatas and concertos by Shostakovich, and Elgar's concerto, among many others. Being not only a first-class cellist, but also a curious musician, Wallfisch has also recorded some of the less than standard repertoire, as well: works by Maw, Lutoslawski, Hindemith, and Shchedrin, for example. Wallfisch has gone after not only the lesser-known repertoire of the 20th century; as this disc of three cello concertos by C.P.E. Bach shows, he's also gone after the lesser known repertoire of the 18th century. Recorded in 2008 with the Scottish Ensemble and Jonathan Morton, Wallfisch's take on Bach is decidedly modern in conception and execution. Though he has scaled back his vibrato and reined in his portamento, Wallfisch still brings great sensitivity and acute expressivity to bear on Bach's works. C.P.E. Bach was the master of the "sensitive style," and his music is full of affecting melodies, exquisite harmonies, and abrupt but emotionally telling changes in tone and textures. Wallfisch eagerly responds to all of this with interpretations that are as insightful as his performances are virtuosic. Brightly accompanied and brilliantly recorded by Nimbus, these recordings deserve to be heard by anyone who enjoys either the player or the composer.

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