Reger: Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello; Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello; Suite No. 3 for Solo Cello; Viola Sonata

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Reger
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello; Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello; Suite No. 3 for Solo Cello; Viola Sonata
PERFORMER: Keith Harvey (cello), Ivo van der Werff (viola), Simon Marlow (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 976
It was Keith Harvey who, back in 1965, gave the first broadcast performance of Britten’s First Cello Suite. Now a cellist of mature years, he turns to Reger’s three works in the form.

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Harvey draws a warm, burnished sound from his 1733 Montagnana cello and makes effective use of dynamic contrast. However, he often distorts the melodic shape by taking a little too long for notes to sound, particularly in the First Suite’s Fugue and in spread chords. I would still choose Wispelwey on Channel in preference for these works.

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The Medici Quartet’s violist Ivo van der Werff completes a tightly packed disc with Reger’s Brahmsian Viola (originally Clarinet) Sonata, his Romantic playing particularly affecting in the last movement. Janet Banks