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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest discs so far in Naxos' Maxwell Davies series!, 26 July 2013
This review is from: Maxwell Davies: Strathclyde 2 | Sonata For Cello & Piano [Vittorio Ceccanti, Peter Maxwell Davies] [Naxos: 8573017] (Audio CD)
This is the second disc from Naxos that deals with the musical collaboration between Maxwell Davies and Vittorio Ceccanti, the first, containing the Linguae Ignis (8.572712), I enjoyed greatly!
Some people might remember the Unicorn recording of the Strathclyde Concerto No. 2 from the late 1990's; well it has taken until now to receive a second and in some ways finer recording. Despite this new recording being live, applause and all, the sound is a little more focussed and the balance between the soloist and ensemble is excellent. I had forgotten just how fine a work this concerto is, with its wonderfully slow and sensual central movement being the pivot on which this work succeeds.
The concerto is followed by the Sonata for Cello and Piano `Sequentia Serpentigena', which is performed here by its dedicatee. It dates from 2007 and has the unusual structure of six movements, and was influenced by a series of medieval Tuscan church carvings, there is some beautifully contemplative writing here although there are some more spiky passages too.
There then follows two short pieces, the first `Dances from The Two Fiddlers', is a transcription by Ceccanti of a piece originally written for violin and piano, and sees Maxwell Davies in his more folk inspired style. The final work on the disc is Little Tune for Vittorio in Maremma for Solo Cello, this is another piece in the folk style. Lasting just over a minute it was composed in five minutes after Maxwell Davies had heard Ceccanti perform Bach's Sixth Suite for Solo Cello. These are beautiful little folk melodies which might come as a surprise to some, but if you like Farewell to Stromness you will love these.
This is an excellent disc, thoughtfully and sensitively performed throughout, the notes by Richard Whitehouse are informative and add to your enjoyment of the music. All in all, this is one of the finest discs so far in Naxos' Maxwell Davies series and should be snapped up by all fans of the composer and his music.
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