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Friday, October 11, 2013

Moto Perpetuo, Moving Works for Cello

An anthology of contemporary works for cello makes sense on a number of levels. It helps unify what could be a very diverse selection with a solo voice that is consistent in range and attack, for one thing. Secondly, the cello has become central to modern music over the past century. It certainly is one of the defining sounds of our contemporary musical world. So it is quite appropriate that we have such an anthology. Third, if the cello soloist remains the same throughout, it then acts as a showcase for that artist.

All these things are true of the CD Moto Perpetuo (Navona 5901). Ovidiu Marinescu tackles the cello part in each of the eight works (or suites of works) represented here, capturing with verve the variety of moods and styles represented. You may not be familiar with all the composers, but they do represent a cross-section of those writing interesting music today. There are works by Andrew March, Greg Bartholomew, Alan Beeler (with three works/suites), Bill Sherrill, Arthur Gottschalk, and Nicholas Anthony Ascioti. The works are in the chamber mode, ranging from pieces for solo cello, for cello and flute, cello and violin, as part of string quintet, for cello and piano, and as part of a piano-string trio--with piano and violin.

Marinescu comes across with feeling and depth. The chamber music partners sound good. The music has depth and substance. And in the end, especially if you are a lover of the cello played well and expressively, you have a satisfying program of modern music you will not find anywhere else.

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