Bridge/Britten

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bridge/Britten
LABELS: Bridge
WORKS: Cello Sonata; Spring Song; Melodie; Scherzo
PERFORMER: Steven Doane (cello)Barry Snyder (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: BCD 9056 DDD
Bridge’s natural medium was chamber, but diis selection clearly shows die shift between the genteel Edwardian drawing room pieces and his more troubled, complex later style. The tumultuous progress of the Sonata’s first movement requires a clear idea of die asymmetric phrases widiin the long, fluent cello lines. Doane makes perfect sense of it, never allowing die narrative interest to flag. In the more profound second movement he draws on his characteristically large emotional range to produce one of his most moving performances on CD.

Advertisement

In marked contrast, Snyder and Doane’s reading of die Britten brings out all its sinister weirdness in a fresh light. And weird it is: the dialogue opens with the cello as

an alien, ghostly voice, die piano consistently clinical. The march, scherzo and moto perpetuo are dispatched with a nervy, percussive bite vital to their success. Only in

the slow movement does Doane allow in a little despair: under the hysterical ostinato of die piano’s Hispanic flourishes, the cello resolves into a frozen resignation.

Advertisement

These well-recorded performances stand up to die famous Rostropovich/Britten version and far outstrip some others in the catalogue. Helen Wallace