Having died at the age of 39, Chopin certainly wrote too little music in his lifetime -- especially for instruments other than the piano. Is the solution to that problem to transcribe and arrange his piano music for other instruments? As always, the answer depends on the quality of the arrangement and the conviction of the performer. In this 2007 disc bringing together Chopin's two ''real" works for cello, the Sonata in G minor, Op. 65, and the Introduction et Polonaise brilliante, Op. 3, with eight arrangements for cello and piano of various piano works, Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk makes as convincing a case for this approach as is imaginable. With superb English pianist Kathryn Stott, Mørk plays the heck out of the music. With his big but nuanced tone, his poignant but penetrating intonation, his agile but amazing technique, and especially his way of singing more than playing the melodies, Mørk sounds more like a baritone than a cellist. And the really good news is that Mørk is as persuasive an advocate for the arrangements as he is for the bona fide cello works. Hearing him play either the aching Nocturne arranged by Taneyev that opens the disc or the yearning pair of etudes arranged by Glazunov that closes the disc, one is hard pressed to recall what the originals sounded like. Recorded in cooperation with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in Østre Fredrikstad Church in 2006, Virgin's sound is close, warm, and deep.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Sonata for cello & piano in G minor, Op. 65, CT. 204|