Daniel Müller-Schott / Michael Sanderling

Dvorák: The Cello Works

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Given that the Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, are violin works, and that a major Dvorák cello work, the Cello Concerto No. 1 in A major, is omitted, "The Cello Works" seems an odd title for this German Dvorák release. That said, this is a generally satisfying collection of pieces that displays Dvorák's melodic gift, his facility with small pieces that never cloy, and the relationship of these to his larger works, which maintain their popularity because of the way they place lyric episodes into a larger context. The program is one that might have been played by a cellist in Dvorák's own time, when a concert might freely incorporate both orchestral and chamber works, and it plunges the listener into Dvorák's world. The performance of the Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, is technically rather than emotionally stirring, with fine attention to the balances that occupied Dvorák during the concerto's composition and preparation, which included the earlier Rondo in G minor, Op. 94. The smaller pieces are full of ingenious melodic touches, and cellist Daniel Müller-Scott never tosses them off. Orfeo's engineering is clear and incorporates the disparate forces into a convincing sonic whole. The listener, after an introduction to the great B minor concerto, has other places to go, but this release will satisfy the confirmed Dvorák lover.

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