Jukka Rautasalo / Jussi Seppänen

Luigi Boccherini: Cello Sonatas

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Though Luigi Boccherini composed some 30 sonatas that we know of for his primary instrument, the cello, only six were actually published during his lifetime; still fewer are performed now with any great frequency. As a performing virtuoso, many of Boccherini's compositions for cello would certainly have been for his own use and as such place high demands on the performer; the mass appeal of chamber music for people to play at home, however, ensured that not all of his sonatas (or concertos, for that matter) are primarily technical in nature. This Alba disc features five sonatas including the very popular Sonata in A major, G4, and the B flat major Sonata, which listeners will in part recognize as the doppelgänger of the famous concerto in the same key. The selection is performed by cellist Jukka Rautasalo accompanied by cellist Jussi Seppänen. The two artists have a remarkably well-blended sound, often sounding more like a single, homogenous instrument; every articulation and every rubato is seamlessly intertwined. Rautasalo's execution of the solo part is technically clean, musically refined, and elevates even the lesser known sonatas to a much higher level. From the soulful and elegant slow movements to the vivacious and exuberant fast movements, Rautasalo captures all of the nuance and detail that Boccherini had likely intended to deliver in his own playing. Alba's recorded sound quality is clear and precise without being sterile.

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