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

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COMPOSERS: Reger
LABELS: Channel
WORKS: Suite No.1 for Solo Cello; Suite No.2 for Solo Cello; Suite No.3 for Solo Cello
PERFORMER: Pieter Wispelwey (cello), Paolo Giacometti (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CCS 9596
Pieter Wispelwey is a cellist who takes scrupulous care over all aspects of performance, changing both his instrument and his style of playing to suit the music. He’s given us period Bach, Beethoven and Brahms; now it’s ‘authentic Reger’. He plays a 19th-century Bohemian cello with gut upper strings and wound gut lower strings.

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Wispelwey’s experience of playing unaccompanied Bach and Britten stands him in good stead in the freely meandering and often humorous Three Suites for unaccompanied cello (1915) – indeed some movements, especially the dances, could almost be Bach. Therea lot of double-stopping, particularly on the gut upper strings, and Wispelwey works hard to produce sonorous sounds. Every note speaks. The recorded sound is intimate, immediate and wholesomely realistic.

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The addition of a piano calls forth Reger’s more Romantic style, in a succession of charming short pieces, including the Aria, Op. 103/3, originally for violin and piano, performed at Reger’s funeral – though neither fact is mentioned in Wispelwey’s infectiously enthusiastic but hardly information-packed booklet notes. Janet Banks