Music and Vision homepage

CD Spotlight

Contrasting styles

Peter Sculthorpe's
music for cello -
explored by RON BIERMAN

'... beautifully-played cello.'

Sculthorpe - Music for Cello. © 2002 Tall Poppies

Peter Sculthorpe loves the cello's full, sonorous timbre and this recording strikingly demonstrates his expert use of it. David Pereira, for whom several of the pieces were written, has a strong, even a rugged sound when required, and that reinforces Sculthorpe's approach. The relatively conservative but modern-sounding Sonata for Solo Cello begins the recital. It is in a single movement and free rather than tightly structured in its development of three main themes. This is the anguished first theme [listen -- track 1, 0:43-1:42]. The conclusion of the Sonata is a fine demonstration of Pereira's sometimes aggressive tone [listen -- track 1, 9:14-10:07].

The Requiem is the second and longest piece in the program. Sculthorpe here lowers the fourth string by a step for even greater richness and the work's six movements include some of the CD's most affecting moments. The piece features two contrasting harmonic techniques -- plainchant and the composer's own more passionate style [listen -- track 5, 0:00-1:13]. In the Sonata and Requiem Sculthorpe manages to create beautiful and coherent music while at different times reminding me of the solo cello works of everyone from Bach to Britten.

Continue >>

Copyright © 4 November 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Nietzsche >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.