Title - The Solo Album
Artist - Christoph Croisé
For those unaware, Modernism, Multi-culturism, Multi-tuning and Lockdown are among the elements that bind the works on The Solo Album (out now via AVIE Records) by award winning cellist Christoph Croisé, who took the opportunity of 2020’s coronavirus isolation to work intensively on a variety of solo works and also turn his hand to composition.
Lauded for delicate yet virtuosic playing (BBC Music Magazine) and seamless subtleties of tone colour with plenty of edge (The Strad), Swiss-French-German cellist Christoph Croise is quickly building an international reputation as one of the most captivating young concert soloists to emerge in recent years.
Born in 1993, he made his New York debut at the age of 17 at Carnegie Hall, where he has performed on several occasions since.
Today, his busy international performing schedule includes regular appearances in many of the world’s renowned concert halls.
GIOVANNI SOLLIMA (b. 1962)
1-4. Concerto Rotondo for solo cello
i. Lento con liberta (3:26)
ii. Allegro (4:06)
iii. Yafu (3:57)
iv. Allegro (4:00)
GYÖRGY LIGETI (1923–2006)
5-6. Sonata for solo cello
i. Dialogo (3:58)
ii. Capriccio (3:52)
CHRISTOPH CROISÉ (b. 1993)
7. Spring Promenade (4:12)
PÉTER PEJTSIK (b. 1968)
8. Stonehenge (4:26)
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882–1967)
9-11. Sonata for solo cello Op. 8
i. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato (8:07)
ii. Adagio (con grand espressione) (10:55)
iii. Allegro molto vivace (11:32)
12. Alone (5:03)
THOMAS BURITCH (b. 1972)
13. Some Like to Show It Off (3:46)
Taking inspiration from Sicilian composer-cello virtuoso Giovanni Sollima, his Concerto Rotondo incorporates electronics and extended techniques, all of which allow Christoph to truly flourish.
Opening on the stern embodiment of Lento con libertà and the slightly more flighty Allegro, the work as a whole transcends onward, bringing the beautifully orchestrated Yafù and the gently fervent Allegro seamlessly to the piece.
György Ligeti’s two-movement Sonata, and of which itself draws inspiration from Béla Bartók, ornately opens on the lusciously divine, highly emotive Dialogo before conjoining with the other half of its being, the sculptured beauty of Capriccio.
Next up is Christoph’s first composition for solo cello, Spring Promenade, which is infused with boogie-woogie, reggae, swing and techno, and which is a pure and unadulterated joy to behold.
That’s followed by the more recent Stonehenge by cellist, composer and pop-music producer Péter Pejtsik which includes intimations of electric guitar atop a bass line that, if you allow yourself to drift into, for sure lives, breathes, ebbs and flows akin to early Led Zeppelin work.
At the heart of the album is Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s epic Sonata, the first major work for solo cello after the suites by Johann Sebastian Bach which were written two centuries earlier.
This piece opens on the flinty steel of Allegro maestoso ma appassionato, before bringing forth the deeper resonance of Adagio (con grand espressione), closing on the playfully flirty Allegro molto vivace.
Closing out the album is both Sollima’s short work, the somber austere of Alone and that then gives way to the album’s “encore”, the joyously exuberant Some Like to Show It Off by Croatian cellist-composer Thomas Buritch.
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