The Harmonia Mundi album Le Violoncelle Parle (The Cello Speaks) takes its name notably from the Pascal Amoyel work for solo cello entitled Itinérance, a slow but evocative work in which the cellist must supplement the cello's own voice with vocalizations from the player him/herself. Beyond that, though, cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand selected her program of well-known works for solo cello as a way of demonstrating her instrument's ability to "speak" and transcend national borders. Her program includes the Russian folk-imbued Third Suite of Benjamin Britten, the Spanish panache and fieriness of Gaspar Cassadó's suite, and finally with the technically taxing and rhythmically exciting Hungarian writing of Zoltan Kodály's Op. 8 Solo Sonata. From start to finish, one thing is abundantly clear: Bertrand is a master of her instrument. Her copious, nearly flawless technique allows her to toss off even the most devilish passages in the Britten and Kodály with seeming ease. Her energies can then be spent on conveying the unique musical styles and languages of each composer, truly allowing her instrument to speak to her listeners. Her sound is magnificently rich and voluminous, and Harmonia Mundi's recorded sound gives listeners a dynamic front-row seat filled with vigorous finger-falls and punctuated breathing.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Suite No. 3 in C minor, for solo violoncello, Op. 87|
|Suite for solo violoncello|
|Suite for solo violoncello, Op. 8|
Track Listing - Disc 2