It's curious why there are not more compositions for cello and guitar duo. The two overlap greatly in range, have wonderfully complementary timbres, and possess virtually none of the inherent balance problems encountered when pairing the cello with the more commonplace piano. The guitar is often thought of in term of Spanish or Latin-influenced music, and though there have been many compositions written for the cello by composers from these parts of the world, precious few have bothered to incorporate the guitar as a duo partner.
A remarkably intimate recording of Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, this performance by Anne Gastinel and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, directed by Louis Langrée, may be a little too forward for the average listener's comfort. Direct Stream Digital engineering places Gastinel front and center – almost in one's living room – and the orchestra is not far behind. Such "living presence" may be an audiophile's delight, but others may find the proximity disconcerting, especially because Gastinel's bowing seems overly resinous up close. However, this is the only complaint worth making about this disc, for Gastinel is wonderfully expressive and the orchestra is extraordinarily balanced and clear in its timbres, no mean achievement in Schumann's problematic, thick orchestration. The remaining performances are less forwardly recorded and sound pleasant and natural, with a fresh spontaneity that feels more like a recital than a studio session.
This is the 15th recording on Naïve by one of the label’s best selling artists, the renowned French cellist Anne Gastinel. On this new CD she is accompanied by her regular piano musical partner Claire Désert in three essential works of the French chamber repertoire, César Franck’s much loved Sonata in A major in the popular transcription for cello and piano, and Sonatas by Debussy and Poulenc.
This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1989. However, it is more than simply an exhibition catalogue, and in fact there isn't even a full listing in the book of the items that were on display…