Cello prodigy and international competition winner Nadège Rochat makes her recording debut on this super audio disc from Ars Produktion, giving rich and vibrant performances of music by Édouard Lalo and Darius Milhaud. Joined by the Württemburg Philharmonic and conductor Ola Rudner, Rochat presents the two cello concertos with warm tones and elegant expressions, and the program works well as an engaging introduction to this charismatic artist. Lalo's Concerto in D minor is an attractive Romantic work that emphasizes lyricism and long-breathed lines over technical tricks, while in contrast, Milhaud's Cello Concerto No. 1 is an urbane modernist essay that shows off the player's skills in a quirky mix of seriousness and insouciance. Rochat's control of line and smooth tonal production are her strengths, and her energy never flags in the concertos, which are the main selling points of this SACD. Lalo's obscure Divertissement and Scherzo are pleasant orchestral pieces that help flesh out the composer's portrait, though they represent a missed opportunity for Rochat, who would have benefitted from playing another concerto in their place. Even so, her strong performances show great promise, and fans will anticipate more albums from this extraordinary Swiss cellist.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Cellokonzert in d-Moll|
|Divertissement pour orchestre: Ballettmusik aus der Oper Fiesque|
|Cellokonzert No. 1, Op. 136|