The Complete Works for Cello and Orchestra, by composer Max Bruch. The works featured on this cd are the well-know "Kol Nidrei," and "Kanzone," as well as two pieces rarely heard: According to the liner notes this is the world premier recording of both "Celtic Melodies" and "Ave Maria," however I have it on good authority that "Celtic Melodies" has already been recorded by Ofra Harnoy.
The artist is cellist Jules Berger, accompanied by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, directed by Antoni Wit. Berger, who was born in 1954 in Augsburg, studied at the Munich Academy of Music, and in Salzburg with Antonio Janigro, and was Janigro's teaching assistant for eight years at the International Summer Academy. He has also studied with Zara Nelsova and Rostropovitch. His instrument is the "Boccherini Strad," dated 1709.
Berger plays the cello beautifully and with sensitivity. His intonation is accurate. He has no trouble with any of the technical difficulties of the music, and his tone is full and sweet, which suits the romantic nature of Bruch's music very well. Likewise, the Polish NRS Orchestra plays with feeling, yet never overpowers the solo cello.
The cd is manufactured by EBS. The audio engineering has been done well, and the sound of the orchestra and cello is clear and bright. Every student cellist eventually studies Kol Nidrei. If you are looking for a recording of it, I highly recommend this one; and the other pieces are a wonderful bonus.
You may hear audio samples and purchase this cd for $16.49 from the Amazon.Com website.
Reviewed by "drcello," December 30, 2000.