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London Cello Connections

Ovidiu Marinescu (cello); London Symphony Orchestra/Miran Vaupotić (Navona)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

London Cello Connection
Works by LP Deutsch, Estelle, A Gottschalk, Diane Jones, Keith Kramer, M Lamb, K Price and J Robertson
Ovidiu Marinescu (cello); London Symphony Orchestra/Miran Vaupotić
Navona NV6514   45:29 mins


Eight premieres of short, vibrant pieces for cello and orchestra in commendable performances by Romanian cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and the LSO. Many of the works featured are balletic in quality, if sometimes rudimentary in their compositional approach. While the orchestral colours explored are pleasant on the ear, there is a distinct lack of originality or development in much of the writing, with too much reliance on the repetition of simplistic themes and ideas.

The liner notes, however, are worth reading for context. John Robertson wrote Celebratory Music after having received a clean bill of health following a round of chemotherapy, while Joanna Estelle’s I Am My Home – originally written as a choral work – is built around a poem by her grandfather, a Ukrainian freedom fighter who fled to Canada in the 1920s. Many of these recordings have a ‘live’ quality, particularly in the exposed cello lines, with an occasional unevenness in the faster passages and occasional issues with pitch matching. The LSO is predictably an asset in these performances, however, offering solid backing and colourful solos. Unfortunately, the recording is strangely balanced, with the cello so prominent that some of the supporting textures are occasionally lost.


Freya Parr