Boccherini: Cello Concerto No. 9; Cello Concerto No. 10; Cello Concerto No. 11; Cello Concerto No. 12

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COMPOSERS: Boccherini
LABELS: Naxos
ALBUM TITLE: Boccherini Cello Concertos
WORKS: Cello Concerto No. 9; Cello Concerto No. 10; Cello Concerto No. 11; Cello Concerto No. 12
PERFORMER: Raphael WallfischNorthern Chamber OrchestraNicholas Ward
CATALOGUE NO: 8.557589
It may or may not be purely

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coincidental that this third volume

in Naxos’s issue of the complete

Boccherini Cello Concertos has been

released in the year that marks the

200th anniversary of the composer’s

death. Whatever the case, this new

recording, featuring an entirely

different soloist and orchestra from

the previous volumes, should not

disappoint collectors of the entire

cycle. Raphael Wallfisch proves to

be a most stylish and sympathetic

performer. He has the necessary

technical armoury to cope with

the fearsomely difficult writing in

each concerto, but also delivers a

wonderfully expressive melodic line

in the slow movements. Throughout

Wallfisch plays his own cadenzas

which are free from Romantic bluster

and empty virtuosity.

The partnership with the Northern

Chamber Orchestra works very well,

though the reverberant and muddy

recording does not always serve the

music to its best advantage. While the

rather heavy bass line seems apposite

for movements such as the Maestoso of the C major Concerto, it appears to

undermine the lightness and wit of

the rondo finale of the well-known

B flat Concerto, and makes some

of the slow movements sound more

lugubrious than one might have

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expected. Erik Levi