Notes and Editorial Reviews
"There is a touch of the impetuous about Richard Lester's playing of these sonatas which seems to me to capture very happily their character: their somewhat wayward invention, their sense of being formalized versions of a cellist's improvisations. The momentary hesitancies hint at the playercomposer who is deciding as he goes which of the ideas in his mind to try out next. Yet beneath it is a strong rhythm and a very sure compositional technique. The music is very high lying: the cellist has prolonged spells in high thumb positions with quite rapid passagework, and these Lester executes with great brilliance and crispness — there is just one passage, in the finale of the C major work, where accuracy of intonation momentarily eludes
him, but otherwise one cannot imagine playing of greater exactitude.
The opening movement of that sonata, the first on the disc, is a particularly fine piece, with its very `cellistic' effects, its pensive moments and its sudden flights of fancy; there is an eloquent central Largo and a dashing, witty finale. The E flat work has jaunty syncopations, the A major a first movement of particular brilliance (I am not certain that Lester reads all the appoggiaturas correctly here: the snapped ones do not seem quite right); and again there is an intensely expressive slow movement. The final sonata here is the B flat work that was evidently the model for the outer movements of the famous Boccherini-Griltzmacher Concerto — it sounds vastly better without the late-romantic harmonizations of the concerto version and with the curious array of tempo changes in the finale that Griitzmacher ironed out. Lester's bowing is vigorous, his tone warm and sharply defined with very little vibrato."
-- Gramophone [1/1996]
Reviewing original Hyperion release
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