Gramophone Magazine February 2017 Editor's Choice
Natalie Clein, whose previous recording of the music of Ernest Bloch was described as ‘inspired’ by The Sunday Times, turns to his three suites for solo cello as part of a recital of works written in the aftermath of the Second World War. The sombre voice of the cello seems especially apposite in music of such deep seriousness, Ligeti’s short sonata providing an energetic and life-affirming finale.
Undoubtedly the most approachable music in this fascinating programme is Ligeti’s Sonata, already a firmly established favourite amongst cellists. Clein’s performance is exemplary, bringing requisite warmth and tenderness to the opening ‘Dialogo’ and propelling the obsessive moto perpetuo semiquavers of the ‘Capriccio’ with tremendous energy and rhythmic drive. BBC ****
Clein plays intimately, as if for herself alone. But there is nothing hermetic about her approach. Gently, insistently, quietly, she draws the listener into Bloch’s music and the results are thoroughly absorbing...her performance of the Adagio theme in the Ligeti is four minutes of pure, concentrated beauty. Gramophone