These performances are infused with tremendous spirit and vivid dynamic colour, lending genuine excitement to some of the most frequently recorded music in the cello repertoire. Rainer Zipperling’s 1701 Barak Norman cello blends very pleasingly with Boyan Vodenitcharov’s modern fortepiano after Anton Walter, and the performers put their instruments to good use in the F major Sonata. Here their imaginative sense of gesture and characterisation, coupled with a sure sense of the work’s harmonic landscape, make for an entertaining account of the work. The opening Adagio of the G minor Sonata is dramatic in their hands, and there’s a lovely legato to the ensuing melody. The explosive Allegro reveals both fiery and tender sentiments, while the Rondo offers an engaging combination of exuberance and wit.
The players’ renditions of the two sets of variations simply teem with bold and dramatic insight, and the warm recording serves the period-instrument timbres to particularly good effect. Every moment of passagework in the ‘Ein Mädchen’ variations is elegantly shaped, while in the Handel set they offer a sparklingly choreographed drama that brings new life to the music.
From the October 2012 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.