THE STRAD RECOMMENDS
The Strad Issue: November 2017
Description: Unusually fine versions of much-recorded cello works
Musicians: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Kirill Karabits
Composer: Bloch, Dvořák
Catalogue Number: AUDITE 97.734
It’s a truism that fashion and taste exert quite an influence on performance styles in each decade. Here, Marc Coppey is beautifully expressive in the melancholically hued, melismatic writing of Bloch’s Schelomo but, in line with much current interpretative practice, he always keeps a tight rein on the structural direction of the music. Coppey brings a refined elegance and precise virtuosity to this emotionally intense work, an approach that pays dividends, with his faithful observation of Bloch’s numerous tempo instructions and often complex rhythmic patterns. And here taste is everything: scrupulous attention to detail allows the music to flow, which serves to enhance the vivid narrative in this rhapsodic work. Partnered by expressively sensitive orchestral playing from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Kirill Karabits, coupled with a beautifully clear resonant recording, there is simply everything to recommend in this performance.
Similarly in Dvořák’s Silent Woods and the Cello Concerto, tempo and rubato are carefully controlled, with expressive content again strongly in harness with awareness of structure. Coppey delivers exquisite shaping of the folk-hued themes, the numerous challenging passages achieved with flawless virtuosity. In the concerto’s Adagio he achieves a perfect equilibrium between heart and mind while still projecting the music’s aching lyricism. The finale is robust and brilliant, the closing reiteration of Josefina’s theme breathtakingly poignant. This is undoubtedly one of the finest versions of this much-recorded work to date.