Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Search of Lost Places, 15 Nov 2012
This review is from: Lieux Retrouves (Music For Cello and Piano) (Steven Isserlis/ Thomas Adès) (Hyperion: CDA67948) (Audio CD)
Steven Isserlis and Thomas Adès's new disc for Hyperion Records is a haunting affair. Spanning Liszt, Janáček, Fauré, Kurtág and Adès's own Lieux retrouvés, a 2009 work written for Isserlis, these dreamy but often threatening tales provide an otherworldly listening experience.

The music itself would be vivid enough, yet when communicated by a tone as honeyed as Isserlis's and with Adès being ever-pliant at the piano, this is a disc in which to lose yourself.

I don't know why it is that the cello of all instruments makes one dream of Elsewhere when one hears it. Perhaps because the colours are so rich and wide-ranging, one can dream and find oneself in a different place.

Given the extraordinary transports communicated in these works - Liszt to a deathly Venice, Janáček into a Slavic Never Never Land, Fauré's own lyrical melancholy, Kurtág into a work of shadows and tributes and Adès's ideated waters, mountains, fields and towns of post-Rimbaud world - Isserlis and Adès take a brave but decisive move not to cloud those views. Theirs is a simple but dazzingly study in non-invasive musicianship, albeit with luscious tone and tender reflection in plentiful supply.

Within the Venetian setting of the Liszt works and the long-spun melodic lines that Isserlis so defly weaves, Kurtág and Adès's music provides a more mordant note (and a goodly dose of virtuosity in the latter). Yet, even here, a nostalgic air of honey-drowning remains. This is not so much a recording as an imaginative springboard in the unknown
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Location: London

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