If playing "name the composer" with this disc of works for cello, most listeners would be confounded.
Is that scented melody by Fauré, that sensuous harmony by Ravel, that bluesy turn of phrase by Gershwin, that quirky rhythm by Hindemith, that glinting color by Stravinsky? Nope -- it's all by Arthur Honegger, and encountering this disc will no doubt raise many listeners' estimation of the French-Swiss modernist. No matter what its influences, the music here holds together as the expression of an individualistic if somewhat eccentric personality. Joining works from Honegger's late youth and early maturity, this disc features Swiss cellist Christian Poltéra performing with a wide variety of international partners. In the 1929 Cello Concerto, he's accompanied by Finnish conductor Tuomas Ollila-Hannikainen leading the Swedish Malmö Symphony Orchestra. In the sonata from 1920 and the sonatina, he's partnered with English pianist Kathryn Stott. And in the sonatina from 1932, he's matched with German violinist Christian Tetzlaff. In each case, Poltéra is a wonderfully expressive soloist with a big tone, a powerful technique, and a persuasive way with a phrase. His musical companions are able to hold their own with strong but sensitive and supportive performances. Recorded in three different locations at three different times but in uniformly cool, clear digital sound, this disc is both attractive and fascinating.
|Concerto, for cello & orchestra in C major, H. 72||Christian Poltéra||15:30|
|Sonata, for cello & piano in D minor, H32|
|1. Allegro non troppo||Christian Poltéra||6:23|
|2. Andante sostenuto||Christian Poltéra||4:47|
|3. Presto||Christian Poltéra||3:57|
|Sonatine, for clarinet (or cello) & piano, H42|
|1. Modéré||Christian Poltéra||2:18|
|2. Lent et soutenu||Christian Poltéra||2:40|
|3. Vif et rhythmique||Christian Poltéra||1:24|
|Sonatine, for violin & cello in E minor, H80|
|1. Allegro||Christian Poltéra||5:06|
|2. Andante||Christian Poltéra||5:05|
|3. Allegro||Christian Poltéra||4:28|