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Alfredo Piatti: 12 Caprices For Cello / Soo Bae

Audio Samples

>Piatti, Alfredo : Capriccio for Cello on a theme from Pacini's "Niobe", Op. 21
>Piatti, Alfredo : Caprices (12) for cello, Op. 25

Album Summary

>Piatti, Alfredo : Capriccio for Cello on a theme from Pacini's "Niobe", Op. 21
>Piatti, Alfredo : Caprices (12) for cello, Op. 25
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Playing the rich-toned and highly responsive Stradivarius 'Bonjour' cello of 1696, on loan to her from the Canada Council of the Arts, the Canadian cellist Soo Bae interprets Alfredo Piatti's technically demanding Capriccio on a theme from Pacini's opera Niobe with seeming effortlessness. Winner of the 2005 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Soo Bae enjoys a busy international career.

"Nearly an hour of solo cello music can be a slog, even if it’s Bach, and for all his charm, Alfredo Piatti was no Bach. It’s a tribute, then, to Canadian cellist Soo Bae that she manages to sustain the interest (and attractiveness) of this program throughout its entire length... Her handling of the Andante religioso opening of the Second Caprice is particularly smooth and stylish, and whether she knows (or cares) about Piatti’s own predilections, her vibrato is, for the most part, unobtrusively and appropriately displayed. There’s a lot of virtuoso fiddling here also in the quicker numbers... fine playing, a novel program, and excellent sonics (and for what it’s worth, the cello is a Strad)." -ClassicsToday

La Presse
The 12 Caprices by Piatti were recorded a few times. A new version appears on Naxos where they are in the hands of Soo Bae. The young Korean-Canadian cellist plays along Caprice Op. 22 on an air of an opera by Giovanni Pacini. With the proper execution and accurate sound pick adds an interesting detail: the cellist plays on a Stradivarius of 1696, "Hello," lent by Instrument Bank of the Arts Council of Canada and which belonged to Martin Lovett, cellist of the legendary Amadeus Quartet.

American Record Guide
Bae's is well played and, to my ears, more interesting.

MusicWeb International
Soo Bae is a Korean-born Canadian cellist who here gets the kind of star treatment Naxos almost never affords anybody. Her name is in capital letters on the spine, and there's a glamorous photo on the cover and another one in the booklet; sorry, gents, but that's a wedding ring on her finger. The attention is earned, though: her technique is impeccable, her range of expression outstanding, and the tone of her 1696 Stradivarius is always a joy to the ear. There's a second of sour intonation in No. 6, but it's the only blemish of any kind in this hour of great cello writing and playing. The tireless producers Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver, Naxos specialists in solo recitals and chamber music, are up to their usual exemplary standards: warm, very present sound just distant enough to avoid what are euphemistically called 'performance noises'. In other words, there's nothing stopping cello enthusiasts from enjoying this very much.

Allmusic.com
Among the first virtuosos of his instrument, cellist Alfredo Piatti is a name known well to students of the instrument and fans of its virtuosic repertoire. Like other traveling musicians of his day, Piatti was also active as a composer. In his case, this was largely out of necessity; few works existed at the time the sufficiently displayed his pyrotechnic abilities on the cello.

Although Piatti penned two concertos, four sonatas and a number of smaller works, he is best remembered today for his set of 12 Caprices for solo cello. Anyone who has studied the cello at upper levels has probably discovered these Caprices. There is certainly a didactic element to them, and the technical demands called for test the mettle of even the most proficient player, but they are not without their musical charm and potential. In the right hands, the Caprices are a fulfilling demonstration of the cello's abilities. Few performers have recorded the set. Bengtsson recorded the complete set, and Starker a select few. Just as technically proficient as these two legendary masters is young cellist Soo Bae, performing the Caprices on this 2011 Naxos album. Bae's technical execution is right up there with Bengtsson when it comes to effortless shifts, precision intonation, crisp articulation, and impeccable double-stop work. She also scores high marks for her ability to transform these works, often thought of as nothing more than etudes, into fulfilling musical jewels. The Bonjour Stradivarius cello on which she plays for this recording produces an almost impossibly beautiful, clear tone in its upper registers, but Naxos' sound does not sufficiently capture enough definition of the instrument's middle and lower range.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (09/12/2008-09/14/2008).



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Works Details

>Piatti, Alfredo : Capriccio for Cello on a theme from Pacini's "Niobe", Op. 21
  • Performer: Soo Bae (Cello)
  • Notes: St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (09/12/2008-09/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Piatti, Alfredo : Caprices (12) for cello, Op. 25
  • Performer: Soo Bae (Cello)
  • Notes: St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (09/12/2008-09/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1875