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Boccherini: Cello Concertos & Sonatas / Isserlis, Kangas


Release Date: 02/27/2001 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 59015   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Steven IsserlisMaggie Cole
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Isserlis is witty on the one hand, warm on the other, and sensitive to the quicksilver thematic changes that characterize Boccherini's style.

Steven Isserlis clearly entertains a deep affection for Boccherini. The music is well suited to his instrument, a Guadagnini of c.1745, and the way he sets it up (with gut strings). It also suits his mode of expression, which is direct, witty on the one hand, warm on the other, and sensitive to the quicksilver thematic changes that characterize Boccherini's style.

These qualities are particularly evident in his performances of the opening movements of the sonatas, which are richly stocked with musical ideas. The Allegro of the C minor Sonata, with its fascinating
Read more syncopated phrases, is played with particular panache. There's a sparkiness about the finale of the C major, a hint of the combative about that of the C minor Sonata. The slow movements are well paced so that they never degenerate into sentimentality and they are delicately moulded by both Isserlis and his accompanist, Maggie Cole. The ornamented repeats are welcome and like the cadenzas represent a very personal, inevitably modern interpretation of the music. But it is typical of Isserlis that he sought out copies of the Milan Conservatory manuscripts on which to base his performance.

From among the dozen Boccherini concertos that survive, Isserlis has chosen two which are historically related—at least since the turn of the century, when Friedrich 0 rfltzmacher purloined the middle movement of the 0 major Concerto, G480 to go with his own version of the outer movements of the B flat Concerto. They are performed here in Boccherini's arrangement. The fast movements exude wit and vitality, the slow ones warmth and sensitivity. The collaboration of soloist and orchestra, the responsive Finnish Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Juha Kangas, results in finely judged tempos and clear ensemble textures. The outer movements have, on one level, an architectural coherence and, on another, refinement of detail. The first movement of the B flat Concerto is sensitively shaped with an unlikely combination of lightness and strength. In the finale of the 0 major, the echoes and interplay in the suspensions between the orchestra and soloist provide moments of pure delight, as does Isserlis's deft use of rubato in the Allegro modera!o of the B flat Concerto. The proper slow movement (Andantino grazioso) of this concerto is played here with such poise and dignity that one can't help wondering why it should ever have occurred to Grotzmacher to make a substitution.

Isserlis has a marvellously ergonomic technique, just as Boccherini must have had, making all the flashy bits sound effortless. The testing doublestops in the Allegro militare and Tempo di minuetto of the G major Sonata and the high passagework in the finale of the G major Concerto aren't of course without hazard, however cleverly the young virtuoso Boccherini contrived to make them fall as easily as possible under the hand and bow. However, Isserlis relishes each and every challenge!

-- Gramophone [7/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Virgin 90805
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello in G major, G 480 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
Date of Recording: 02/1990 
Venue:  Sibelius Hall, Jarvenpaa, Finland 
Length: 16 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Steven Isserlis performs his own cadenzas. 
2. Concerto for Cello in B flat major, G 482 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1785 
Date of Recording: 02/1990 
Venue:  Sibelius Hall, Jarvenpaa, Finland 
Length: 18 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Steven Isserlis performs his own cadenzas. 
3. Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C minor, G 2b by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Maggie Cole (Harpsichord), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1988 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4. Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in G major, G 5 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Maggie Cole (Harpsichord), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770 
Date of Recording: 11/1988 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 6 Secs. 
5. Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C major, G 6 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Maggie Cole (Harpsichord), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770 
Date of Recording: 11/1988 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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