Didier Petit


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This is the French cellist's second and most accomplished solo outing. Didier Petit's music produces such an extraordinary emotional power that he often feels compelled to chant or sing the entire melody as on "Over the Rainbow," where his bare cello commentaries simply adorn his vocalizing. The set covers many of the cellist's influences and experiences, from his classical training to his work with the great and underrated Alan Silva. Petit only tackles two standards, "Over the Rainbow" and "Summertime," which are given a fresh paint job. His interpretations must count among some of the most personal and uncanny treatments the pieces ever got. While Petit rarely resorts to plucking, he does not hesitate to use his axe as a percussive instrument. The cellist's brilliant technique is never used to flashy effect, but as a conduit to better express his feelings and create multidimensional soundscapes. His delivery has an intense quality that even transpires through the quieter passages. In a set where poetry constantly flirts with chaos, his playing is alternately frantic, thoughtful, dark, visceral, and plaintive, but does not preclude humor. And the bells of a church located near the recording studio put his improvisational skills to an unexpected test ("Le Clocher du Hasard"). It is no minor feat for Petit to make solo cello such a rewarding and fun adventure.

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