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Bruch: Kol Nidrei
Bloch: Sonata for violoncello & piano; Prayer; Supplication; Jewish Song; Meditation Hebraique; Nigun from Baal Shem
Bernstein: 2 Meditations, from 'Mass'
Schedrin: Cardil
Stutschewsky: Kinah
Trad Kletzmer songs: Dona, Dona; A vreml, the pickpocket; Chanukah Oy Chanukah

Paul Marleyn, cello; John Lenehan, piano

Signum SIG CD 505 [73 mins]

A winning idea - a well conceived and achieved compilation by Paul Marleyn, Canadian based cellist who provides his own notes. The soul of the cello is displayed in this warm, emotional music as well as that of the Jewish community, and the partnership of Marleyn & Lenehan is sympathetic and perfectly balanced.

Ernest Bloch is the mainstay and a first recording of his early sonata is a good foil to the more overtly Jewish mature pieces.   Nigun goes well on the cello in Joseph Schuster's arrangement. The Kletzmer songs bring in lively contrast. 

The recording in Bristol, March 1996 is impeccable, and presentation is to Signum's invariably high standard. It is a programme which we played straight through with great pleasure and should appeal widely. Why has it waited eight years for release?

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© Peter Grahame Woolf