First, if you love music for cello and orchestra, you'll certainly enjoy the program and especially the spirited playing and luxurious tone of celebrated cellist, conductor, and I Musici de Montréal founder Yuli Turovsky. As the disc's title suggests, the music--nearly all of it arrangements or re-scorings--is Spanish in origin or is based on folksong and dance and employs many of the distinctive features--turns and ornaments--most immediately recognizable as Spanish popular melodic style. In that regard, there's definitely a sameness to the pieces here, all melody-centered, most dance-oriented--which means the highly distinctive rhythms exemplified in pieces such as Albéniz's Malaguena, Falla's Seguidilla Murciana, Jota, andRead more Polo, or Cassadó's Requiebros.
Several of the works, such as the Ritual Fire Dance from Falla's El amor brujo and the abovementioned Requiebros, are well-known concert pieces, but other highlights include Cassadó's Sonata in the Old Spanish Style (skillfully scored for string orchestra and cello from its original piano/cello version by Madeleine Messier), which is packed with lovely, lyrical singing melodies and lively rhythms, its wonderfully wistful, moody slow movement leading to an equally amiable yet lighter-hearted theme-and-variations finale. This last contains a delightful variation that calls for the cellist to play an extended pizzicato in the manner of a guitar.
Throughout, Turovsky conveys the spirit of each work with tireless energy and an easy command of style that shows a deeply-felt commitment to the music. He's having fun, he's impressing us with his facile technique in the numerous virtuoso passages, yet he's also completely together with his orchestra. It's a great show, a well-spent hour with music that, while not originally for this particular configuration of instruments, sounds here as if written for it.
Recuerdos de Viaje, Op. 71: no 9, Malagueñaby Isaac Albeniz Performer:
Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic Written: by 1887; Madrid, Spain Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. Notes: Arranger: Julien Proulx.
Petite Suite for Piano: no 6, Sérénadeby Alexander Borodin Performer:
Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
Period: Romantic Written: 1885; Russia Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. Notes: Arranger: Madeleine Messier.