The Strad Issue: January 2014
Description: Stunning virtuosity from a new young star of the cello
Musicians: Edgar Moreau (cello) Pierre-Yves Hodique (piano)
Composer: Monti, Elgar, Paganini, Glazunov, Rostropovich, Fauré, Dvorák, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Françaix, Tchaikovsky, Massenet, Popper, Schubert, Gluck, Bloch & Chopin

A new gladiator enters the arena. If I were a betting person I’d wager that Edgar Moreau would slay whatever came in his path, such is his formidable technical armoury. Lest, however, one consider him just a cellistic gymnast, there are sufficient lyrical pieces here to illustrate his consummate artistry. Gaining the young soloist prize in the 2009 Rostropovich Competition is a strong indication of his merit, and he is already playing with the musical elite.

Moreau’s command of flying spiccato is simply awesome in Françaix’s Mouvement perpétual, Popper’s Elfentanz and in the witty and brilliant Humoresque by Rostropovich. Moreau’s delivery in these pieces is flawless and musically well shaped, projected with obvious ease.

There are of course numerous chestnuts, but the additional benefit of this collection is that there are some illuminating performances of pieces that often feature in exams, such as Massenet’s Melodie, Faure’s Élégie, Elgar’s Salut d’amour, Monti’s Czárdás, Dvorák's Waldesruhe, Glazunov’s Chant du Ménestrel and Bloch’s Prayer. A clear recording and beautifully sensitive playing from Pierre-Yves Hodique make this altogether an impressive, enjoyable and useful CD.

Clip: Monti Czárdás

Joanne Talbot