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Mats Lidström opens his notes for this exciting and varied new release with these emphatic words: “Let it be known that cellists’ repertoire is unlimited”! In that spirit this outstanding duo offer us a feast of fine fare from the neglected French repertoire. This includes the remainder of the Breton song arrangements by Koechlin which where unknown to the players when they recorded the first set (CDA66979) and have here been recorded for the first time from the manuscript in the composer’s family’s collection.
As for Widor, he has come down in history first and foremost as a compser of colossal organ symphonies but this is not the whole story of the hearty and colourful character, as is evident in his lyrical and strongly emotive cello sonata. Magnard, by contrast, had a greater wish for formal nicety in his writing which, as our players confess, meant that they were taken by surprise by their moist eyes at the close of the funeral march movement of this sonata.
All in all an issue of surprises and power, charm and delight, from players whose recordings for Hyperion pour light upon lurking treasures.