Emmanuelle Bertrand is amongst the best cellists of the younger generation. Indeed there is a letter in the sleeve notes from Dutilleux himself commending her qualities as an artist. Her range of tonal colours is immense, her tone ravishing and her articulation a delight.
This CD has won a massive amount of awards in France, and its easy to hear why. The Ligeti solo Sonata is a beautifully concise work, written in 1948 in his pre experimental/avante guard phase (his 'Hungarian' phase), with a soulful and songful first movement, and massively virtuosic and brilliant second movement. The George Crumb Sonata of 1955, another pillar of the solo cello repertoire also recieves a highly coloured and perfectly executed reading. The surprisingly tonal Henze Serenade and newly comissiones Bacri Suite are pleasent enough but are not up to the level of the other masterpieces on the disk.
The Dutilleux Trois Strophes have been recorded a few times, and this is the best version of them. As has been said, Dutilleux himself praises the recording, which should be reason enough to believe in their supremecy. These three short pieces are some of the greatest solo cello music written in the twentieth century.
None of the music is very difficult to listen too, in the way that Ligeti for instance, can be .I recommend this CD unreservedly.