After securing a considerable reputation as a gifted orchestral cellist by leading the cello section of one of Europe's well-respected orchestras, Jan Vogler soon left the orchestra scene in search of a career as a soloist. In a remarkably short period of time, Vogler played with many of the world's best orchestras and created a broad and impressive discography. This 2009 Berlin Classics "Portrait" album has performances from many of these past recordings ranging from 1992-2003. The repertoire chosen for the program is somewhat unimaginative, though draws from many of the favorites of the standard cello literature. The only truly disappointing choice is the inclusion of the Prelude to Bach's First Solo Suite while excluding the other five movements. The program continues in rather bland chronological order, visiting Haydn's great D major Concerto; Beethoven's charming F major Variations, Op. 66; a Mendelssohn Song Without Words; the rapturous Schumann Concerto; the pivotal Debussy Sonata; and finally the overplayed Rachmaninoff Vocalise. Throughout, Vogler demonstrates himself to be an artist of impeccable technique, clean sound, and musical integrity. All of this comes together to create an album that is ideal for listeners just getting a taste of the cello literature and looking for a first introduction to these important works. Vogler's performances, however, are all rather safe and unimaginative, and do not distinguish themselves from the countless superb recordings that most seasoned listeners already possess. Berlin's recorded sound quality in the two concertos is nicely balanced and pleasing; the works with piano produce an oddly muffled sound from the piano, though Vogler's tone is still pure and robust.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Suite for violoncello solo No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007|
|Concerto for violon-cello and orchestra in D major, Hob. 7b/2|
12 Variations on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" from Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" in F major, Op. 66
|Concerto for violoncello and orchestra in A minor, Op. 129|
|Sonata for violoncello and piano|