American Record Guide

Music for multiple cellos is a genre mostly practised by cellist – composers who appreciate the remarkable sonority of the medium. I have spent some happy times exploring the genre with colleagues. Here is an esoteric collection of mainly 20 th century works, beginning with the 18 th century Giacobbe Basevi Cervetto, whose opus 1 consists of six cello trios. 2 in B-flat is an attractive piece where the upper two lines are the soloists, the bottom a basso continuo, played without keyboard continuo in this performance.

Walther Aeschbacher (1901-69) was a Swiss cellist-conductor-composer. His suite of 1941 has the resonant sonority characteristic of the medium and an imaginative use of romantic harmony and counterpoint. Enrico Mainardi (1897-1976) was a famous cellist. His Notturno is a richly sonorous work. Joaquin Rodrigo is represented by a little-known pair of miniatures, well contrasted in style and technique.

Cello Spice is a Scottish group, and the rest of the program is by Scottish composers. First is a comprehensive collection by composer-cellist Marie Dare (1902-76). For those interested, a collection of her works for cello and piano is on ASV6245. Her music is meditative and evokes her country in a beautiful way. Then comes a 1992 Quartet by Nigel Don (b.1954), a romantic and occasionally witty work. Anita Hewitt-Jones (b.1926) writes a sweet and sunny Spanish Serenade, and the program closes with Michael Norris (b.1934) whose “Rumba” was originally for three bassoons. Though the music and the performances are generally low-key, this is a most attractive and unusual collection