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Anner Bylsma Plays Boccherini


Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 7685192   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner BylsmaDavid SinclairDerek ConrodStephen Marvin,   ... 
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of the original recordings that make up this set:

Symphonies, Concertos
Tafelmusik are a Canadian period-instrument group who bring plenty of spirit and enthusiasm to their performances. I have chiefly heard them before in baroque repertory, to which their rather direct and even slightly edgy tone may be better suited than it is to the more suave Boccherini. The B flat Symphony they offer here, Op. 21 No. 4 in Boccherini's numbering, is not to my knowledge otherwise available; the chief interest resides in the first movement, a typically exuberant piece, full of repeated notes and dashing off every now and then into brilliant semiquaver passages, though there is some characteristically charming pathetic
Read more music in the andantino. The players here make a hairsbreadth pause before each accent in the first movement (and there are rather a lot of them), which seems to me disturbing to the rhythm. They also offer the D minor Symphony, La casa del diavolo, based in part on Gluck's Dance of the Furies from Orphee. They play the first movement at a tremendous speed and with great vigour, the slow movement rather dully and the finale, again, very fast and duly diabolically. Here, however, they run into competition with the disc by Ensemble 415 (Harmonia Mundi), which offers a superior performance; tighter and more controlled, more graceful as well as sweeter-toned in the middle movement and less reliant on breathtaking thrills to make the fast movements effective.

But with Anner Bylsma playing two concertos, this is certainly a disc to be considered seriously. His performance of the G major work is far more appealing than that of the relatively staid Wouter Willer on the EMI disc cited above, its quick movements quicker, its slow movement slower— and played with remarkable control (you cannot hear the changes of bow) and with much poetry. And there is some dazzling playing at the very top of the instrument in the finale. The D major work is perhaps slightly more ordinary, but that vein of pathos is again much in evidence in the andante lentarello (a typical Boccherini marking, whatever it may mean), where the cello duets with a solo oboe. A record, then, that in spite of some flaws the Boccherinian will want to have.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [2/1990]

Quintets, Sonatas
Though born in Italy, Luigi Boccherini was based for most of his life in Madrid, where he played the cello and wrote more than a hundred string quintets. They’re perfectly formed from the simplest chords, and not without their touches of profundity. The cello sonatas sound at times too much like performers’ music. The explanation lies in changing styles of string technique and the rise of the piano, though Anner Bylsma’s playing gives them a new lease of life.

-- Nicholas Williams, BBC Music Magazine

Cello Sonatas
Anner Bylsma is a tremendous enthusiast, whose high spirits and nervous energy never fail to manifest themselves in his performances. Here he plays these five Boccherini sonatas with a quite extraordinary rhythmic vitality: listen for example to the finale of G8 or the opening movements of G10 (the chords at the beginning crunched out with tremendous verve) and G15. His articulation is as sharp and precise as can be imagined, and his rhythms, though by no means inflexible, are tough and firmly sprung. He throws off the high passagework with something close to reckless abandon, and it works pretty well: the only exception being the extremely rapid and alarmingly high-pitched figuration in the finale of G8, where the intonation is a little less than perfect in the exposition (though faultless, a fifth lower, in the recapitulation). In the slow movements he achieves a good deal of intensity, showing (notably in G8) a natural feeling for the way in which the expressive tension rises towards a cliche galant cadence and is released by its arrival; G2, a rather sombre C minor work, also has a fine slow movement which he plays with much intensity. There is expressive playing too in the Adagio of G10 and some eloquence in the Andantino that begins G9. But Bylsma does not, I think, always get the best out of the slow movements, which sometimes need a little more relaxation (not his strong point), warmth and grace than he brings to them; similarly, the movements, usually minuets, which Boccherini marks amoroso or affettuoso would have profited from more sense of loving care.

The actual sound of the music is rather different from what we are used to in this music, or any eighteenth-century cello repertory. Bylsma produces an incisive, rather wiry and resonant cello tone, supported here by fortepiano (in three of the five sonatas) and a second cello (in four of them); the combination of all three gives quite a rich sound, though not an indistinct one, for the fortepiano is light and clear—but with only the two cellos there is no sense of harmonies missing in the middle, because of the ring of the instruments. The two cellos alone play the group of fugues, which are slight pieces with at best slender claim to Boccherini's authorship.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [3/1994]

Cello Concertos, Symphonies
"[This disc] offers a slightly odd but still very enjoyable selection of Boccherini—timed, no doubt, for the 250th anniversary this year. The two symphonies are late works, the D major a single-movement piece of the Italian overture type, with a slow movement embedded, the C minor his most 'symphonic' work in the Viennese-classical sense of the term. Jeanne Lamon directs lively performances with this excellent Canadian group. The D major she takes rather quickly, producing that sense of tension that arises when music is pushed a little beyond its natural pace; but the effect is energetic and inspiriting (and it is marked con molto spirito). The Andantino is more relaxed, its colours happily realized. In the C minor work she presses the minuet too much, I think (true, it's marked Allegro), for it to make its points properly, but the fine first movement is direct and unaffected, and its close symphonic argument comes across well, while the finale is splendidly fiery.

Anner Bylsma plays the two concertos, neither of them among the better known of Boccherini's, in characteristic fashion, dashing into the music with his usual sense of fresh discovery and uninhibited enthusiasm. Some might prefer more measured performances, but the intensity of his involvement does draw the listener in, and his bouncing rhythms show an infectious pleasure in the music. The odd rough moment is a modest price to pay. He takes both the slow movements very slowly, surprisingly so, for this runs against the grain of fashion, not to say informed opinion, in the early music world. That of the D major is however rapt in expression, with Bylsma's eloquent line (the phrases in rapid notes are thrown off like little sprigs of decoration) and Tafelmusik's soft and sensitive accompaniment. The C major is a less impressive piece and there must be some doubt about its complete authenticity, at least in this form (who ever heard of a concerto in C with a slow movement in D?); Bylsma contributes some curious, almost trumpet-like tone in the first movement, and plays an extremely odd cadenza.

In fact, the work I enjoyed most of all, and for which I shall treasure this CD in particular, is the Octet, one of a group of late chamber works for mixed combinations which haven't been, but should be, available on records. It is a charming and leisurely piece, exquisitely scored, with one of those seductive minuets bearing Boccherini's most personal stamp—exquisitely scored, gently witty, with a hint of nostalgia and pain lurking somewhere behind the notes. That, at any rate, is how I hear it, and I find it wholly beguiling."

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [7/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D major, Op. 43/G 521 by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Cello in D major, G 476 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 14 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Octet for 2 Violins, Viola, 2 Cellos, Flute/Oboe, Horn and Bassoon in G major, Op. 38 no 4/G 470 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  David Sinclair (Double Bass), Derek Conrod (French Horn), Stephen Marvin (Viola),
Ingrid Matthews (Violin), Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Christina Mahler (Cello),
Anner Bylsma (Cello), Marten Root (Flute), Michael McCraw (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 15 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Cello in C major, G 573 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 15 Minutes 39 Secs. 
5.
Symphony in C minor, Op. 41/G 519 by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 17 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Cello in G major, G 480 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
7.
Concerto for Cello in D major, Op. 34/G 483 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1785 
8.
Symphony in B flat major, Op. 21 no 5/G 497 by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Spain 
9.
Symphony in D minor, Op. 12 no 4/G 506 "Nella casa del diavolo" by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Spain 
10.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in B flat major, G 8 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello), Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
11.
Fugues (6) for 2 Cellos, G 73: no 2 in F major by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
12.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in E flat major, G 10 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
13.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in F major, G 9 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Anner Bylsma (Cello), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
14.
Fugues (6) for 2 Cellos, G 73: no 3 in B flat major by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
15.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C minor, G 2 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
16.
Quintets (6) for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos, Op. 29 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Lucy Van Dael (Viola), Sigiswald Kuijken (Violin), Anner Bylsma (Cello),
Alda Stuurop (Violin), Wieland Kuijken (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Spain 
17.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C major, G 6 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Hopkinson Smith (Guitar), Wieland Kuijken (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770 
18.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in A major, G 4 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Hopkinson Smith (Guitar), Anner Bylsma (Cello), Wieland Kuijken (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770 
19.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C major, G 17 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Hopkinson Smith (Guitar), Wieland Kuijken (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 

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