The Strad Issue: January 2018
Description: Cellist’s brave and commendable comeback after injury
Musicians: Corinne Morris (cello), Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Works: HAYDN Cello Concerto in C major, COUPERIN Pieces en Concert (arr. Paul Bazelaire), MONN Cello Concerto in G minor
Catalogue Number: LINN RECORDS LINN CKD562
Fighting successfully against the odds is always an uplifting experience. In this respect, Corinne Morris’s comeback after suffering a major injury is a truly heart-warming story, celebrated here in an attractive and well-recorded programme of Baroque and Classical repertory. The highlight of the disc is the neat and rhythmically precise delivery of the arrangement by cellist Paul Bazelaire of Couperin’s Pièces en Concert – a real pedagogical chestnut encompassing different bowings and contrasting moods. In Morris’s hands, these miniatures spring to life and have a sparkle that is captivating.
Far less persuasive, however, is the Monn Concerto. The playing is pleasant enough, but the slow movement in particular sounds rather mundane, requiring greater fluidity and a wider range of colour in the phrasing to make its impact. Similarly, the Haydn C major Concerto is a somewhat mixed affair. On the one hand, the playing is accomplished – rhythmic and accurate. But Morris could bring a greater variety of characterisation to the outer movements. Equally the Adagio, taken at a rather slow pace, becomes lugubrious and cries out for greater forward momentum.
Morris made the decision to perform without a conductor so as to elicit a greater sense of intimacy, and she is certainly successful in this objective, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra proving very subtle and supportive partners.