Anne Gastinel / Yuri Bashmet JOSEPH HAYDN Concertos pour Violoncelle 1 & 2

With the CD catalogue now awash with recordings of these concertos featuring every conceivable interpretative standpoint, any new version has to make a pretty strong case for its existence. Anne Gastinel is a technically adroit soloist, with an attractive, resinous tone, and certainly gives pleasure in her eloquently shaped accounts of the slow movements. Elsewhere, though, her playing can be a shade routine and undifferentiated, short on spontaneity and rhythmic imagination: listen to both the rival versions in, say, the finale of the C major work, and you’ll hear a wit, fantasy and lightness of touch that elude the efficient but slightly stolid Gastinel. And both Steven Isserlis and, especially, Truls Mork, find altogether more grace and allure in the outer movements of the D major Concerto, where Gastinel sounds dutiful rather than delighted in the bravura passagework. In fairness, she is done few favours by the prosaic, overemphatic orchestral accompaniments or by an ultra-close recorded balance which picks up every tiny sniff and hiss. And it is miserly of Auvidis to offer just 49 minutes of music at full price.' (Richard Wigmore/Gramophone)

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