Korngold, Grainger, Sibelius, Godowsky, Jongen, etc

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: etc,Godowsky,Grainger,Jongen,Korngold,Sibelius
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Smörgåsbord
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67184
So who really needs yet another recording of The Four Seasons or Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? Maybe nobody – but there should always be an audience for discs like this one. Collected here are 25 miniatures for cello and piano, most of them probably unfamiliar even to the most case-hardened connoisseur, and all of them beautifully played and recorded.

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The association of miniatures and the cello may call up images of lightweight, effective encore pieces, predominantly of the saloniste variety, but such a preconception is destined to fail. True, there are precisely such pieces in this recital, but the range of moods and styles is wide, ranging from the Baroque to the present, and from the lightest of musical confectionery to the most haunting and moving (and who would have expected the latter from Leopold Godowsky?).

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Fans of Anne Sofie von Otter will need no introduction to Bengt Forsberg, and his partnership with Mats Lidström is just as happy a conjunction of talents. These are musicians who understand each other well, and their rapport is evident throughout. Lyrical but never overly sentimental, romantic in feeling but often Classical in style, they exaggerate nothing, and unerringly capture the essence of every piece they play here.