On her 2005 album for Endeavour Classics, cellist Denise Djokic explores currents of folk songs in works by composers as diverse as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Robert Schumann, Leos Janácek, and Gaspar Cassadò. The unifying plan is apparent in her choice of Vaughan Williams' pastorally flavored Six Studies in English Folk Song (1926), Schumann's rustic Fünf Stücke im Volkston (1849), and Janácek's sweet Fairy Tale (1910). Less obvious, though, are the folk song elements in Cassadò's fairly abstract Suite for solo cello (ca. 1950); and the inclusion of Igor Stravinsky's brilliant Suite Italienne (1932) -- adapted from the ballet Pulcinella, and based on themes by Pergolesi and his eighteenth century contemporaries -- seems outside Djokic's survey, except for the use of secondhand material. Unsurprisingly, Stravinsky's piece stands out as the most delightful selection, both in content and in performance, and it is possible that Djokic and her accompanist David Jalbert enjoyed playing this neo-Classical gem much more than the other pieces; however obligated they were to follow the album's central theme, the suite was too irresistible to omit. Alas, the rest of the disc is less compelling, and while Djokic and Jalbert render the other pieces with feeling and moments of lovely playing, the program seems drab when compared to its highpoint. The reproduction is clear and pleasantly resonant.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Studies in English Folk Song (6) for cello (or violin, viola, clarinet) & piano|
|Suite Italienne, for cello & piano (after Pulcinella, transcribed with Gregor Piatigorsky)|
|Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102|
|Pohádka (Fairy Tale), for cello & piano ("The Story of Tsar Berendyey"), JW 7/5|
|Suite for cello solo|