The CD cover gives the prospective listener a good idea of what to
expect, yet surprisingly little detail. Flipping the digipak case over gives
virtually the same limited information. Wen-Sinn Yang and Adrian Oetiker are
both experienced Swiss musicians, much recorded - but surely their renown is
not so immense that the mere listing of their name will have music-lovers
placing orders for CDs without seeing what music they will be performing?
Time will tell.
As the accompanying notes report, Yang and Oetiker's programme is
structured like a recital, opening with Kodály's dreamy,
folk-inspired Sonatina, once intended as the first movement of a full-sized
sonata. They round off with three short encore-type pieces, none of which
was originally written for the cello, but each bringing something unique to
the proceedings: the lively exoticism of Kreisler, the wit and jaw-dropping
virtuosity of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's 'Figaro' Paraphrase, and the gentle
longing of Brahms's Feldeinsamkeit.
In between come Schubert's very pretty 'Arpeggione' Sonata, heard
here in one of its common disguises as a convincing, heart-felt cello
sonata; and Dohnányi's gloriously lyrical op.8, the focal point of
this generously-timed CD. Something for everyone in a sense, but there are
threads that link these works with each other, as the notes briefly
indicate. It is unlikely that Yang and Oetiker had in mind the setting of a
new benchmark for any of these items, but they are nonetheless a poised and
polished partnership. Their Dohnányi is perhaps not quite as magical
as Michal Kaňka and Jaromír Klepáč on Praga Digitals
(DSD250249, in SuperAudio, 2008), but it is not far off.
Sound quality is very good. The booklet comes glued to the case,
which some will undoubtedly find an annoyance. The German-English notes are
fairly basic, and in any case matched in bulk by the biographies of Yang and
Oetiker, reinforcing the unfortunate impression that Oehms Classics consider
the composers of secondary importance. Translations into English, though
apparently done by a native speaker, nonetheless have a slight accent
("pursuing a worldwide career since many years").
Yang and Oetiker can be heard performing together with clarinettist
Eduard Brunner and other musicians on a fine disc of quintets and sonatas by
J X Lefèvre, released in 2010 by Tudor - see review
. Yang in particular has made
numerous other quality recordings of all sorts of repertoire for a variety
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