Hindemith, Krenek, Dallapiccola, Ligeti, Henze, Ibert, Lutoslawski, Reimann & Kirchner

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COMPOSERS: Dallapiccola,Henze,Hindemith,Ibert,Krenek,Ligeti,Lutoslawski,Reimann & Kirchner
LABELS: Nimbus
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Solo Cello
WORKS: Works by Hindemith, Krenek, Dallapiccola, Ligeti, Henze, Ibert, Lutoslawski, Reimann & Kirchner
PERFORMER: Wolfgang Boettcher (cello)
For all its dotted rhythms and defiant wrong-note tunes, the style of early Hindemith exudes a zestful energy that places it beyond the realms of imitation. In the solo Sonata Op. 25/3, placed first in cellist Wolfgang Boettcher’s recital of 20th-century solo pieces, a powerful opening throws down a gauntlet whose challenge is met in the vibrant invention of all five movements. Though little known, this unaccompanied piece, like its companion for viola in the opus, rekindles a venerable tradition firmly rooted in Bach. Two other works on the programme, Reimann’s Solo and Krenek’s Suite Op. 84, seem less certain where they stand within the genre. Both contain some pretty uneventful music that lies heavily on the ear, despite Boettcher’s committed playing. Lutoslawski’s terse Sacher Variation, in contrast, makes brevity a virtue, while Henze’s relaxed Serenade scores highly in terms of a colloquial charm whose vitality is clearly enjoyed by the performer. By far the most powerful modern work here, however, is the Sonata by Ligeti. Cast in two movements, a ‘Dialogo’, with evocative pizzicato glissandi, and a tearaway ‘Capriccio’, it perfectly blends the folksong style of the composer’s early years with the stylish wit and rhythm of his maturity. Nicholas Williams