The Strad Issue: January 2010
Musicians: Ivan Monighetti (cello/conductor) Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Composer: Haydn

As a former winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition, and Rostropovich’s last pupil, Ivan Monighetti has an unassailable  cellistic provenance, and yet despite the diversity of his interests, which incorporate both period performance and contemporary music, he remains surprisingly under-represented in the CD catalogue. This impressively clear recording of Haydn’s concertos, however, is on a par with the finest available. Monighetti vividly encapsulates both the lyrical and rustic elements of Haydn’s musical invention, shaping the evocative melodic line of the C major Concerto’s Adagio with great affection and bringing a foot-stamping rawness to the double-stops of the first movement. Equally the refined Classicism of the D major Concerto is beautifully conveyed, with the steady, astutely judged Rondo tempo enabling the thorny octaves passage to dance rather than sound garbled.  

The cadenzas, on the other hand, will be more a matter of personal taste. Monighetti opts for rather extensive musical rambles alighting on numerous albeit humorous quotes from very familiar works – a ploy that might wear a little thin with repeated listening. But it’s a minor issue in what are wonderful performances, with brilliantly incisive and vibrant rhythmic partnering from the Sinfonia Iuventus. To frame and separate the concertos Monighetti has selected three late minuets – fantastic dance movements that are again given highly characterised performances.

Joanne Talbot