The Strad Issue: January 2007
Musicians: Kristin von der Goltz (cello)
Composer: Dall'Abaco

If making a CD disseminates an all-but-unknown composer to a wider public, and at the same time is so persuasive that you want to get a copy of the music for yourself, it’s a success on every count. Such is the case with this release. Joseph-Marie-Clément dall’Abaco (1710–1805) was the son of Evaristo dall’Abaco, a slightly better-known figure who occupied the post of virtuoso court cellist at Bonn. Cast in a late-Baroque language, which also fosters lyrical cantabile lines, these caprices are absolute gems. Any couple of them could happily start a recital, having both eloquence and musical variety. At the same time they have virtuosic moments, not least the second section of the Eleventh Caprice, and all come with hefty amounts of double-stopping to convey the harmony.

Kristin von der Goltz is a resourceful cellist, having unearthed the interesting works of Jakob Klein in a previous release. Yet she has the good sense to ensure that these new discoveries are of sufficiently striking quality that they can sustain a new lease of life in a wider arena. Naturally they need a fine advocate to make their case, and Goltz showers these caprices with intelligent voicing, beautifully shaped phrasing and fine tuning. The nutty tone of her Baroque Leopold Widhalm cello (1785) seems perfect in a recording that captures all the resonance of her rich double-stops. This is a ‘must-buy’ CD.   

Joanne Talbot