Richard Locker

Randall Svane: Cello Music

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The Six Solo Cello Suites of J.S. Bach have influenced and inspired composers for more than two centuries and continue to be the ruler against which subsequent solo cello suites are measured. Many fine examples have followed, Britten and Reger to name but a few. This Leggiero Records disc is a lesser-known set of three solo suites by American composer Randall Svane. Composed across a span of nearly a decade, the influence of form, register, and even harmony from Britten and Bach can be clearly heard throughout. While Svane's suites may not hold the same level of appeal as the more well-known examples -- the melodies are somewhat fragmentary and rhythms occasionally uninventive -- they still represent a welcome addition to the repertoire. Performing the three suites is cellist Richard Locker, whose technique is solid and uniform throughout the short disc. What's less appealing, though, is Locker's musicality. From start to finish, his performances are quite bland, unmoving, and lacking in contrasts. Adding to this is Leggiero's is extremely dry, digital sound quality that is not well suited to the cello. Listeners interested in exploring unfamiliar repertoire will likely still find this album interesting, but others may not find it musically satisfying.

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