Reviews of THUILLE: Sonata for Cello & Piano in D minor; TOVEY: Sonata for Two Cellos in G Major; and DOHNANYI: Sonata in B-flat Major Op. 8 - Marcy Rosen and Frances Rowell, cellos, Lydia Artymiw, piano - Bridge
THE DETROIT FREE PRESS Published on September 7, 2008
Cellist Marcy Rosen presents three rarities in an irresistible recital disc, including sonatas by Ludwig Thuille, Sir Donald Francis Tovey and Ernst von Dohnanyi (Bridge 9264). All three date from the turn of the 20th Century and all are steeped in late 19th-Century romanticism.
For me, the biggest discovery is Tovey's inventive Sonata for Two Cellos in G Major, whose three movements flow effortlessly from sunny lyricism suggesting Brahms in a good mood to variations on Catalan folk songs and a closing whirl of Bach-inspired counterpoint. I guess it was not enough that the English-born Tovey (1875-1940) should be one of the greatest musicologists and music critics in history; he also had to be a talented composer. Show-off.
Rosen's sound is rich and warm, all the way from the basement of the cello to the balcony, and she has a tasteful way of lingering over a phrase without preening. She partners with the excellent pianist Lydia Artymiw and, on Tovey's Sonata, cellist Frances Rowell.
AUDIOPHILE AUDITION Published on July 16, 2008
One masterpiece and two curiosities from a label that wouldn't have it any other way. The masterpiece is Dohnanyi's 26-minute long Op. 8 Cello Sonata in a performance that takes its measure with an elegance of phrasing and restrained passion that make you wonder why it's not heard in the concert hall, or recorded, more often. Artymiw conjures up gorgeous sounds from her Steinway while Rosen, a much admired soloist and longtime member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, captures the slightly quirky, romantic
nostalgia that suffuses so much of Dohnanyi's music.
The curiosities are a Cello Sonata by Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907) and a Sonata for Two Cellos by Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940). Whether it's the first recording, it is certainly the first I ever heard of the music itself. The performance, in which Marcy Rosen is joined by Frances Rowell, gets the scale of the 20-minute musical gambol perfectly, loving and gently expansive. The Andante middle movement, a tribute to Casals, consists of variations on a Catalan folk song. The last movement, an entertaining contrapuntal game, pays delicious homage to Bach.
“Rosen's sensitivity was noteworthy; her playing is highly musical and filled with succulent phrasing. Her tone was gorgeous.”
- The Washington Post
“Marcy Rosen played with passionate authority.”
- New York Times
“One of the intimate art’s abiding treasures.”
- The Los Angeles Times
“Playing with uncommon smoothness, Rosen maintained a deftly colored, luminous tone. The Elgar Concerto has meltingly tender sections as well as forthright passages which were woven into a compelling musical fabric by the soloist and the orchestra.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Rosen played as moving a Dvorak Cello Concerto as I have heard.”
- The San Francisco Chronicle
“Rosen performed with wonderful vigor and abandon, giving the piece its full measure of rich sonority.”
- The Seattle Post
“Rosen gave an impressionable performance - it was the Bach that was wonderful (Suite No. 6 in D Major) - she did not show the difficulty of the music, but rather brought forth the beauty of the music itself.”
- Ongaku No Tomo (Japanese Journal)
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