CD Review – The Russian Album

Christoph Croisé, cello; Alexander Panfilov, piano
Avie AV2410

When you think of classical cellists, whose names come to mind? Certainly, Jacqueline du Pré and Yo-Yo Ma, and then there’s Steven Isserlis and Mischa Maisky. Make a note now of another name to add to those ranks, that of Christoph Croisé. He’s only 26, but already has three successful CDs released and now adds a fourth with The Russian Album.

There are two sonatas for cello and piano, one by Rachmaninov, the other by Shostakovich, both played with what can only be described as Russian fire (although I wished that Panfilov could have toned it down a little at times!) This is followed by a short work from the 20th century Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin, In the style of Albéniz, an unusual piece to say the least, and that’s followed by the March from Prokofiev’s The love for three oranges.

That’s the Russian line-up, but then there’s a bonus track, where Christoph plays a cheeky little two-minute piece composed by the Swiss cellist Thomas Demenga called New York honk. It’s this young man’s mastery of his instrument that enables us quite clearly to imagine New York’s traffic complete with all the bustle and sound of car horns. Altogether a first-class CD and one which lovers of the cello should add to their collections.

Michael Morton-Evans

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