Antony Cooke

Rachmaninoff: Sonata in G minor; Kabalevsky: Sonata, Op. 71

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With the driest and dustiest recording acoustic in recent memory, it is amazing to find that this recording by Antony Cooke and Armin Watkins was recorded as recently as March 1999 in Capitol Records Studio in Hollywood, CA. And it is more amazing to find that this recording was also produced by Cooke and Watkins, who must have known what it was doing to their performances of Rachmaninov and Kabalevsky's Sonatas for cello and piano, who must have known that it was eviscerating and disembowelling them, that it was taking performances of two of the juiciest works in the cello and piano repertoire and drying them, curing them, and tanning them until they became as barren and brittle as Mrs. Haversham. Both Cooke and Watkins appear to be fine musicians whose performances seem to be deeply sensitive to the soul of the music, but their production seems fatally insensitive to the sound of the music. And while one might wish to hear Cooke and Watkins again, one hopes they let someone else produce their next recording session.

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