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Song Of The Birds: Spanish & Latin Cello

Green,Nancy / Gibson,Tannis
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Cello Classics   Catalog #: 1025   Spars Code: DDD 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Fans of solo cello music will have lots to enjoy on this generous program of works by Spanish and Argentinian composers, especially if they prefer the sort of robust playing that such uniformly fiery, demonstrative music inspires. Nancy Green's style is bold, aggressive, uninhibited, and possessed of a confidence born of rock-solid technique. However, Green's take-no-prisoners approach only enhances the rougher, tougher character of works such as Piazzolla's Le Grand Tango and Ginastera's Pampeana No. 2, pushing the listener dangerously close to the edge of comfort/discomfort. There's no denying Green's virtuoso command of instrument and music--and the same applies to her pianist partner Tannis Gibson, herself a well-known concert and Read more recording soloist.

What's puzzling about this recording is the sound, which first of all places the cellist far to the left of the sound-stage, the piano hard to the right--not a natural configuration. But what exactly is going on in the opening Falla works, where it sounds distinctly as if, in addition to the cello and piano, someone is playing a pizzicato bass? Where does that booming, low-frequency punch come from? Is it overdubbing of some sort, or an engineering gimmick? Whatever, it's an odd and at the same time imposing effect.

There's one exception to the "fiery, demonstrative" character of most of the program, and that's found in the title piece, the last selection on the disc. It's Pablo Casals' famous arrangement of the Catalan song "Cant del ocells" (Song of the Birds). Slow, enchanting, a celebration of the cello's rich, singing voice, Green plays it with affecting simplicity. This is an impressive recital--just be ready for the larger-than-life sound. [1/6/2011]

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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