Friday, 28 September 2018

Bach - Oboe Concertos and Cantatas - Löffler, Prohsaka etc.

Rating: 2/5

Not for me

I’m sorry to say that I was disappointed in this disc. I love Bach’s writing for oboe and some of his movements for oboe and soprano are just sublime, but the performances here didn’t work for me.

Xenia Löffler has a lovely tone and Anna Prohsaka’s singing is good in its way – but it’s not the right way for Bach, in my view. The oboe and orchestral playing has a slightly plodding feel about it and Prohsaka sounds as though she’s the lead in a Romantic opera, so although Bach’s music is recognisable it never comes to life and for me they miss its essential essence.

This is a personal view, of course, and others may enjoy this more than me, but even though it’s a very attractive programme, I can’t recommend it.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Dall'Abaco - Capricci a Violoncello Solo - Galligioni

Rating: 5/5

Very enjoyable

I like this disc very much. Dall’Abaco and Francesco Galligioni were both new to me so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s a disc of charm and fine musicianship.

Dall’Abaco was an older contemporary of Bach (by about ten years) but these pieces are much freer than the Cello Suites and remind me more of Abel’s pieces for viola da gamba. They aren’t works of genius, but they have real charm and interest and they are a pleasure to listen to. A whole CD at once can get a bit much, but in smaller groups they are a real pleasure.

Galligioni plays very well, with a rhythmic freedom that serves the music well. He has the technique to play some quite virtuosic passages with no sense of strain and his cello sounds lovely throughout – and is very well recorded.

This is one of those shot-in-the-dark discs which has proved a real winner for me and I can recommend it very warmly.