Lutoslawski Cello Concerto CD

Dominy Clements - MusicWeb International

The real grist of this review is for the newest of these releases, which opens with Robert Cohen’s stunning playing of those spare, lonely notes which introduce the Cello Concerto. Cohen is up closer than Paul Watkins on CHSA5106, and Cohen’s rhetorical expression is if anything even more communicative - those repeated notes by no means a ‘waiting for’ feature, with each note connected to the next through its own resonance, each recurrence filled with memory and implication. Listen to those little vocal sighs at 1:20, creating a genuine human voice when compared against Watkins’ more abstract playing. The orchestra is again superb as one would expect; the balance between soloist and the rest is detailed and realistic, the initial brass invasion of the soloist’s ruminations brutal, all of those theatrical brushstrokes skilfully eloquent. It’s a shame that this recording is all on one track compared to Chandos’s four, but this is a minor detail. Cohen takes the laurels in this case.


reviewRobert Cohen