Helmut Rogl: Complete Cello Works So Far

Martin Rummel

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Helmut Rogl: Complete Cello Works So Far Review

by Mike D. Brownell

Austrian composer Helmut Rogl, born in 1960, was an active composer in a broad range of musical genres. Of his instrumental works, however, Rogl has shown a special fondness for the cello, kindled by his friendship with cellist Martin Rummel. This 2010 Paladino Music disc, enticingly titled Complete Cello Works So Far, features his impressively varied array of seven compositions for the cello ranging in configuration from solo cello, cello with piano, cello with accordion, and culminating with his cello concerto. Rogl's influences and compositional techniques are broad and include jazz, early music, polyphony, ragtime, and others. His concerto uses as its model Martinu's 1924 Concertino in its lack of strings in the accompanying orchestra, making the solo cello even more of a stand-alone instrument. For all of his techniques and innovations, Rogl's music is quite accessible to a broad swath of listeners. Making for an even more enjoyable listening experience is Rummel's clean, precise, detailed playing. His sound is muscular and robust without being overpowering; he projects clearly without forcing and produces a well-rounded tone across the range of his instrument. Listeners will also get the sense that Rummel is truly just playing the score, highlighting the music rather than the musician. Hopefully, Rogl's prophetic title will indeed come true, and this talented composer will continue to write for the cello.

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