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Celis: Sonata for violoncello & piano, op.6 (1962-63)
Sonata for violincello solo, op. 71 (2002)

Vierne: Sonata for violincello & piano, op. 27 (1910-11)

Jan Seiffer, violincello Hans Ryckelynck, piano

Frits Celis (b. 1929) is a traditionalist who believes that not only the listener but also the contemporary composer himself must bear responsibility for the infamous gulf between them: contemporary music that is in the first place cerebrally conceived is often experienced as cacophonous and chaotic, even by the serious music lover.

With a fruitful career as harpist, conductor of the opera in Flanders and prolific composer, it has been a pleasure to make his acquaintance through this disc. His own sonatas are well wrought and would grace any a cellist's repertoire as a change from the canonic staples. But have they ever been heard in UK, so near and yet so far?

This excellent duo "enjoys rescuing lesser known cello sonatas from oblivion" and these three vindicate their quest completely. The sonata of Louis Vierne (1870-1937) - more famous for his organ music - is also well worth hearing.

The performances and recording are fine, my only reservation to wonder whether the "molto allegro" finale of the solo sonata might not better have been taken a little faster?

A disc which should find a place in all conservatoire/music college libraries, the music to be seized upon and played by every aspiring student cellist. The next hurdle would then be to persuade concert promoters to drop a few ticket sales to liven a commercial recital programme.

Peter Grahame Woolf