With his idiomatic and graceful style, pianist Philip Martin has established himself as the foremost exponent of Gottschalk. Much of his music is by no means easy to play; it requires an impeccable technique matched with Èlan and joie de vivre for its most effective execution. Although not essentially a great composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk had a unique spontaneity and individuality which Martins performances bring vividly to the fore. The composers music was hugely popular during his lifetime and his works display a real melodic charm and a great sense of fun. Each of the eight discs in Martins extensive Gottschalk series has received wide acclaim and left pianophiles eagerly awaiting the next issue.
The young French cellist Edgar Moreau, an established Erato artist, is joined by his siblings – the violinists Raphaëlle and David and the pianist Jérémie – for Dvořák’s five Bagatelles op 47 and Korngold’s Suite op 23. As David points out, works for the combination of two violins, cello and piano are unusual: “These are wonderful pieces that are rarely played, so this is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on them.” When it comes to playing as a family, Edgar feels that “There’s something that works almost instinctively,” while Raphaëlle explains that “We don’t need to look at each other, and we breathe together in a certain way. There’s something very strong about it.” Completing the programme are transcriptions of much-loved operatic arias from Dvořák’s Rusalka and Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, performed by Edgar and Jérémie.
Edgar Moreau performs two cello concertos which bravely and wittily challenge convention. Offenbach’s ambitious Grand Concerto in G major culminates in military fireworks, while Friedrich Gulda’s Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band – written 130 years later – is a dazzling stylistic kaleidoscope. Moreau is joined by conductor Raphaël Merlin and the dynamic orchestral collective Les Forces Majeures.
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