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Romance. Encores for Cello and Harp.
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Chanson Indoue from Sadko;
GABRIEL-MARIE La Cinquantaine;
DVORÁK Humoresque;
MASSENET Méditation from Thaïs;
CHOPIN Waltz in a minor Op 34 No. 2;
FAURÉ Aprés un Rêve;
CHOPIN Mazurka Op. 67 No. 3;
BACH Arioso;
SCHUBERT Ständchen (Serenade);
LADOUX Impression Op.28;
FAURÉ Romance in A Op. 69;
TEDESCHI Elegia Op.22;

Sebastian Comberti (cello), Miriam Keogh (harp).

This is the kind of "easy listening" that nineteenth century audiences relished and, though cello aficionados might wish for something a little more nourishing than seventeen popular encores, it is a winner.

The combination of cello and harp is well suited to this repertoire which, with the exception of Fauré's Romance Op. 69, are all transcriptions of pieces for orchestra or other instruments, though no less enjoyable for that. Household pets such as Bach-Gounod's and Schubert's Ave Maria (Marias?), Dvorák's Humoresque, the Hindu Song from Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko, Saint-Saëns' The Swan, Schubert's Serenade and the Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet and a Bach Arioso all receive respectful, even reverential, treatment and there is no "playing to the gallery".

The pieces are mainly slow and molto espressivo in character, which chimes well with Comberti's flexible yet relaxed approach and light vibrato allied to the cool sound of the harp in place of the pianistic mannerisms that tend to creep into such transcriptions.

Buy this for your favourites, and to prove to music snobs that they are worth listening to, not only because a lot of people like them but also, when performed as lovingly as this, fully merit their popularity and durability. Sing along if you dare!

The cello sound is excellently recorded, though I would have liked to hear a more crisply focused harp. Comberti is also the soloist in another enticing recording in this series, Boccherini's five sonatas for cello (CC1101. Not reviewed here).

Roy Brewer


Price on the Website is £10.00 plus p&p, payable by credit card, full details on the site:

Cello Classics
38 Chandos Road
London N2 9AP
Tel +44 (0)20 8444 6358
Fax +44 (0)20 88837104

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