Notes and Editorial Reviews
C. P. E. BACH
Antonio Meneses (vc, cond); Munich CO
PAN 10294 (66:59)
When I reviewed Antonio Meneses’s recording of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas with his mentor, pianist Menahem Pressler, some years ago, I praised his musicality and phrasing but stated that I found his tone rather dry for my taste. Here, in a recording made in 1997, Meneses’s tone sounds similarly dry and a bit leathery (particularly in the Concerto Wq 171), and his bowing is not
suave—but what excitement he generates! Both as soloist and conductor, he is completely into these pieces, driving both himself and the Munich Chamber Orchestra with tremendous energy and excellent control of dynamics. In short, these are exciting performances, and in the music of Bach’s most talented son excitement is just fine for me.
As usual, this music is full of unexpected twists and surprises. Perhaps some of my readers are tired of reading this from me by now, but what can I say? The stabbing strings, the strange syncopations, and the surprising pauses are all part and parcel of these works, as they are in his symphonies. Moreover, I don’t know why more cellists don’t play these pieces, as they are not only musically interesting but virtuosic. As a matter of interest for the musicologists, Meneses plays Wolfgang Boettscher’s cadenzas in the first concerto, his own cadenzas in the second, and C. P. E.’s original cadenzas in the third.
When the music is this good and the performances equally fine, there’s not much to say about a disc except that, if you are a lover of this composer and don’t have these works, you won’t go wrong in getting this CD.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
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