A fine young musician impresses in a selection of cello showpieces.
Somm’s laudable aim in its ‘New Horizons’ series is ‘to provide young musicians of great talent with the opportunity of promoting their careers worldwide in top quality recordings’. A risky venture but, if they are all of this standard, one worth taking. One hopes that a limited publicity budget will be enough to bring these unknown artists to a wide audience and, equally important, make the enterprise profitable.
Ironically, only five of the 19 tracks are cello originals (Faure’s Elégie and Sicilienne, and Gaspar Cassadó’s three-movement Suite for solo cello), the remainder being transcriptions of songs, piano and balletRead more pieces by Gendron, Piatigorsky, Casals, Grechaninov, Jamie Walton himself and the mysterious Ronchini about whom I, in common with the booklet writer, can tell you nothing.
Walton plays with a sonorous, firm tone, alive throughout to the rhythmic delicacies and colouristic nuances of each composer. If he and Grimwood are occasionally aware that the red light is on (I’d have preferred a little more abandon in, say, the Ritual Fire Dance) and tend towards the emotionally cool (try Après un rêve and the rather too fast Andaluza), they offer a beguilingly relaxed Debussy selection. Walton’s playing of Romance, from a song composed in 1891, matches Piatigorsky’s 1941 recording, and in Granados’s Orientale benefits from a slightly brisker tempo than the Russian maestro.
After this attractive duo collection, Walton offers the comparative rarity (recorded only a handful of times previously) of Cassadó’s Suite. Like those of Bach, it is dance-based and offers an array of challenges to which Walton rises with aplomb.
-- Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone [10/2005] Read less
Works on This Recording
Préambulo and Sardanaby Gaspar Cassadó Performer:
Jamie Walton (Cello),
Daniel Grimwood (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: Spain