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Shauna Rolston|STRAUSS, R. / DEBUSSY / BARBER: Cello Sonatas (Richard Strauss - Claude Debussy - Samuel Barber)

STRAUSS, R. / DEBUSSY / BARBER: Cello Sonatas (Richard Strauss - Claude Debussy - Samuel Barber)

Richard Strauss - Claude Debussy - Samuel Barber

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Cellist Shauna Rolston and pianist Bernadene Blaha unite on this disc to give us a varied assortment of the cello and piano repertoire. The pieces chosen span nearly 100 years of composition, from the Strauss Sonata from 1883 to the Lutoslawski Metamorphoses of 1981. Despite the various compositional periods visited, Rolston's sound and approach to her instrument do not change along with the piece. This is truly a shame because the result is some of the works being extremely successful while others are much less so. At the top of the list of pieces that work well is the Debussy Sonata. Rolston's technique is quite impressive and as such all of the nuance and subtly that Debussy calls for in the cello part is immediately evident. The intensity of Rolston's sound and vibrato also work very well in this sonata. Blaha's performance is also fluid and spacious. The other two successful works are the Lutoslawski and the Messiaen, two very slow compositions that really test a performer's sound continuity and bow control. Rolston rises to the occasion, and her Messiaen in particular is ethereal without so much as a hint of an interruption to the sound. The characteristics that work well in some pieces are the same things that are detrimental to others. In particular, Rolston's fast, intense, and omnipresent vibrato and her tendency to glissando or under-shift most intervals greater than a fourth really take away from the Strauss and Barber sonatas. While these techniques, when used sparingly, can certainly enhance a big shift or a passionate passage, when they're used continuously they make the performance sound over-romanticized and less special.
© TiVo

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STRAUSS, R. / DEBUSSY / BARBER: Cello Sonatas (Richard Strauss - Claude Debussy - Samuel Barber)

Shauna Rolston

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1
I. Allegro con brio
Shauna Rolston
00:09:25

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

2
II. Andante ma non troppo
Shauna Rolston
00:07:59

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

3
III. Finale: Allegro vivo
Bernadene Blaha
00:08:08

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

4
I. Prologue: Lent
Shauna Rolston
00:04:37

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

5
II. Serenade: Moderement anime
Shauna Rolston
00:03:21

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

6
III. Finale: Anime
Bernadene Blaha
00:03:45

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

7
I. Allegro ma non troppo
Shauna Rolston
00:08:34

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

8
II. Adagio
Shauna Rolston
00:04:27

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

9
III. Allegro appassionata
Bernadene Blaha
00:06:12

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

10
Metamorphoses for Cello and Piano
Shauna Rolston
00:06:56

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

11
Quatour pour la fin du temps (Quartet fo
Shauna Rolston
00:09:43

Shauna Rolston, cello - Bernadene Blaha, piano

Album Description

Cellist Shauna Rolston and pianist Bernadene Blaha unite on this disc to give us a varied assortment of the cello and piano repertoire. The pieces chosen span nearly 100 years of composition, from the Strauss Sonata from 1883 to the Lutoslawski Metamorphoses of 1981. Despite the various compositional periods visited, Rolston's sound and approach to her instrument do not change along with the piece. This is truly a shame because the result is some of the works being extremely successful while others are much less so. At the top of the list of pieces that work well is the Debussy Sonata. Rolston's technique is quite impressive and as such all of the nuance and subtly that Debussy calls for in the cello part is immediately evident. The intensity of Rolston's sound and vibrato also work very well in this sonata. Blaha's performance is also fluid and spacious. The other two successful works are the Lutoslawski and the Messiaen, two very slow compositions that really test a performer's sound continuity and bow control. Rolston rises to the occasion, and her Messiaen in particular is ethereal without so much as a hint of an interruption to the sound. The characteristics that work well in some pieces are the same things that are detrimental to others. In particular, Rolston's fast, intense, and omnipresent vibrato and her tendency to glissando or under-shift most intervals greater than a fourth really take away from the Strauss and Barber sonatas. While these techniques, when used sparingly, can certainly enhance a big shift or a passionate passage, when they're used continuously they make the performance sound over-romanticized and less special.
© TiVo

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