Michal Kanka

Haydn: Cello Concertos; Symphony No. 22 "Der Philosoph"

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Haydn: Cello Concertos; Symphony No. 22 "Der Philosoph" Review

by James Leonard

These are perfectly agreeable performances of Haydn's Cello Concertos coupled with his Symphony No. 22. Michal Kanka is a fine young cellist with a splendid technique, a strong tone, and graceful turn of bow. The Prague Chamber Orchestra plays without a conductor and so solid is the ensemble and subtle the interplay that it clearly does not need one. Together Kanka and the PCO create performances with poise, polish, and panache and interpretations with warmth, wit, humanity, and musicality. While the Adagios want more intensity in the Concertos and more gravity in the Symphony, the joy and pleasure of the closing Allegros is always just right. And there are moments, notably Kanka's whole marvelous cadenza in the Concerto in D major, that are wonderfully moving. Praga's super audio CD sound is reverberant and a little too distant and without enough depth.

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