Cello Concertos Nos 1 & 2 (Haydn);
Romances 1& 2 (Beethoven)
Orfeo C 080 031 A
Reviewed by Neville Cohn
There’s more transcribed music for cello on an Orfeo CD featuring the youthful Daniel Muller-Schott in version for cello and orchestra of Beethoven’s two Romances, originally written for violin and orchestra.
In ensemble with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Muller-Schott elects to play the Romances at a significantly quicker pace than is usually encountered in performance on the violin – but there is in no sense, a suggestion of rush here; it is entirely persuasive, the progeny of a meaningful marriage of profound musical insight and blissfully pleasing tonal colourings.
In Haydn’s two concertos for cello, Muller-Schott scales Olympus. In the opening measures of the first concerto, the soloist draws his bow across the strings to generate hackle-raising waves of grainy tone; it is like a call to arms. And in the slow movement, soloist and orchestra set an unusually restrained pace but succeed in maintaining a flowing sense of onward momentum, one of music’s hardest calls to which soloist and ACO respond in the most musicianly way. And in the finale, the soloist powers to the closing bars like some sublime cellistic athlete.
The second concerto yields fine listening dividends, too, with the slow movement a sedately lulling intermezzo which gives way to a finale that alternates between a swaying motif and cheery, impish utterances.
So far as these performances are concerned, and not least the mostly impeccable accompaniments from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, this is a compilation to which, to paraphrase Messrs G.B.Shaw, Lerner and Loewe, I could have listened all night.
© November 2003