CPE Bach: Cello Concerto in A minor, Wq 170; Cello Concerto in B flat, Wq 171; Cello Concerto in A, Wq 172

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COMPOSERS: CPE Bach
LABELS: Virgin Veritas Portraits
WORKS: Cello Concerto in A minor, Wq 170; Cello Concerto in B flat, Wq 171; Cello Concerto in A, Wq 172
PERFORMER: Anner Bylsma (cello)Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Gustav Leonhardt
CATALOGUE NO: VM 5 61401 2 Virgin Veritas Portraits VM 5 61401 2 1989
It seems astonishing that CPE Bach originally wrote these concertos for harpsichord, so suited are their sinewy solo parts to the cello. Anner Bylsma is in his element in this repertoire, enjoying the whimsical virtuosic deviations. Despite the soft-grained texture of his tone, he sculpts phrases with great rhythmic vitality and finds a subtle range of timbres for the more expressive moments. My only criticism would be that the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment is too brightly persistent beside his ‘will o’ the wisp’ voice. The contrast is put to good effect, however, in the simultaneously stormy and lyrical opening of the A minor concerto, where the cellist is deliberately in conflict with the orchestra. Helen Wallace

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