It is not by chance that luminous textures and sensual orchestral colors are considered essential features of French music. Its history features great names renowned for their art of instrumentation and sensitive use of timbres, who include the composers of the cello concertos on this recording: Camille Saint-Saëns, whose instrumentation technique always combines color with transparency, Édouard Lalo, who was highly esteemed by Claude Debussy for the wealth of color in his works, and Arthur Honegger, who painted striking soundscapes not only in his Cello Concerto but in his works without a large orchestra as well. Often it is the fine shadings and delicate transitions that characterize the tone colors of French music and are responsible for its delightful charm. Daniel Müller-Schott – Opus Klassik award winner 2019 – appealingly combines five works from the French sound kaleidoscope on his newest album with the DSO Berlin and Alexandre Bloch 'Four Visions of France’.
Müller-Schott plays Saint-Saëns’ bravura test piece broadly in the opening Allegro, playfully in the Allegretto, and energetically in the closing Allegro. Later the Romance in F Major is tenderly executed by Müller-Schott. By contrast, the cellist’s take on the Élégie of Gabriel Fauré is all gentleness. His mining of the early 20h century sound in Arthur Honegger’s Cello Concerto bespeaks boldness and incisiveness.
When it comes to Édouard Lalo’s less-French than most work among those of his contemporaries: the Cello Concerto in D Minor, Müller-Schott embraces the grandiose, quasi-Wagnerian music with no small measure of impassioned fervor. Throughout all of the works featured in this interesting album, the soloist and his colleagues from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin play with commitment and unimpeachable style.
– Rafael's Music Notes