Notes & Reviews:
Three of the twentieth century's finest composers are represented on this charming selection of chamber works for cello and piano. Originally released in 1993, 'Rachmaninov, Lutoslawski & Webern' has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue. A trend setter in twentieth-century compositional technique, Lutoslawski's Grave explores the metamorphosis of a theme (from Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande) in which the rhythmic and contrapuntal complexity gradually increases. In spite of their brevity, Webern's Op. 11 requires the cellist to produce virtually all the contrasting sonorities of which the instrument is capable. This subtle approach to nuance is also noticeable in the piano part, where every note is given a contrasting dynamic and method of attack. Rachmaninov's Sonata in G minor features idiomatic and effective writing for the cello and a highly demanding piano part complex in its textures and bold harmonic progressions and equal in stature to the more famous Piano Concerto which directly preceded it. William Conway held the job of principal 'cello, for ten years with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a role he currently holds with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, of which he is a founder-member. Conway's commitment to contemporary music was recognized by an award from the Scottish Society of Composers for an outstanding contribution to new music. Peter Evans is an English piano player of outstanding gifts. He has performed as soloist and in various duos and ensembles in Austria, Germany, the USA and the Soviet Union. He broadcasts frequently for BBC Radio 3 and has also recorded for BBC Television, Scottish Television, French and Swedish Radio.