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Britten / Bach / Ligeti

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Britten / Bach / Ligeti
Britten / Bach / Ligeti


The Hungarian Miklós Perényi is recognised as one of the great cellists of his generation, with a distinctive, subtly nuanced sound matched by extraordinary musicality. Here he gives his first solo recital for ECM, performing notable works by Bach, Britten and Ligeti. It follows his brilliant performance, alongside András Schiff, in the award-winning recordings for the label of the Complete Music for Piano and Violoncello by Beethoven.

Perényi plays Benjamin Britten's Third Suite for solo cello, op. 97 and Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No 6 in D major, BWV 1012, making plain their historical interconnection. Britten wrote his cello suites for Mstislav Rostropovich, inspired by hearing him playing the Bach suites. Rostropovich hailed all of Britten's cello suites as masterpieces but singled out the Third (written in 1971) for special praise: "sheer genius", in his words. Into the fabric of the thematic material Britten wove fragments of melodies from Russian folk songs, only allowing them to emerge fully in the final movement. On this disc, Bach's last cello suite follows Britten's, and Perényi's Bach dances with elegance and energy.

The album concludes with a return to Hungary, and Gyorgy Ligeti's Sonata for solo cello of 1948-1953. Ligeti released the piece for publication only in 1979, so it figures in the chronology (as Paul Griffiths point out in the notes) both before and after the Britten. Meanwhile a significant piece in the contemporary repertoire, it's a powerful, heartfelt work from a composer who had himself studied the cello.

Personnel: Miklós Perényi (cello)


  1. Name
  2. Benjamin Britten: Third Suite, op. 87 (1971), I. Introduzione (Lento)
  3. II. Marcia (Allegro)
  4. III. Canto (Con moto)
  5. IV. Barcarola (Lento)
  6. V. Dialogo (Allegretto)
  7. VI. Fuga (Andante espressivo)
  8. VII. Recitativo (Fantastico)
  9. VIII. Moto perpetuo (Presto)
  10. IX. Passacaglia (Lento solenne)
  11. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite VI, D-Dur, BWV 1012, Prélude
  12. Allemande
  13. Courante
  14. Sarabande
  15. Gavotte I and II
  16. Gigue
  17. György Ligeti: Sonata (1948/53), I. Dialogo (Adagio, rubato, cantabile)
  18. II. Capriccio (Presto con slancio)
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