An impressive concerto debut from a characterful young Brit

Tim Posner: Bloch, Bruch, Dohnányi


The Strad Issue: May 2024

Description: An impressive concerto debut from a characterful young Brit

Musicians: Tim Posner (cello) Bern Symphony Orchestra/Katharina Müllner

Works: Bloch: Schelomo. Bruch: Kol Nidrei. Dohnányi: Konzertstück

Catalogue number: CLAVES CD3079

British cellist Tim Posner’s first major recording with orchestra reveals him as a cellist of stature and integrity and boasts some inspired programming.

Bloch’s decision to do away with words and make a solo cello the voice of Solomon gave the world the unforgettable Schelomo. There is much refined playing in this work from Posner, a former student of Gorokhov and Isserlis. His cello is not sufficiently powerful in its high register when pitted against Bloch’s huge, glittering orchestra, but the work’s melancholy solo lines, from the poignant opening to the final C-string passage with its darkly throbbing vibrato, are hauntingly desolate in Posner’s hands.

A self-assured performance of the Hebrew plea for forgiveness, Kol nidrei, follows. Posner draws a pure, clear sound from his instrument and uses rubato and portamento tastefully, giving his interpretation emotional intensity without it ever being overblown.

The carefree opening melody of Dohnányi’s Konzertstück, a through-composed concerto with echoes of Saint-Saëns, comes as a breath of fresh air. This is a delightful work, full of youthful exuberance and grace. Posner moves naturally with the ebb and flow of the music, using a degree of Romantic portamento and a beautiful vibrato in the Adagio section. A warm and full recorded sound enhances this fine recording.