Impressive and varied cello recital
9 November 2016
Form 7’s Issy gave Wednesday’s lunchtime recital, playing a varied programme of solo cello music by J.S. Bach, Paul Hindemith and Joseph Haydn.
The performance began, appropriately, with a prelude – the first movement of Bach’s third cello suite in C major. Bach’s genius in these works, as with the solo violin repertoire, is to unite melody and accompaniment into a single melodic strand, abandoning the conventional use of keyboard accompaniment. Issy showed an acute awareness of the harmony and counterpoint implied in the music, and achieved an effective singing quality particularly at the climactic end of the piece.
A complete contrast in sound-world, but still within the realm of unaccompanied cello music, Hindemith was next on the programme. Firstly, the central slow movement of the cello sonata (opus 25); an eerie piece, and sometimes mournful in character, despite the composer’s trademarked objectivity. Issy communicated a profound understanding of the music, with an almost crying tone at the expressive upper register of the instrument, and culminating in yearning appoggiaturas fading into silence. The final movement of the sonata was much more energetic and tonally ambiguous, enabling Issy to explore the darker sonorities of the ‘cello.
Joined by the piano for the first time, Issy concluded her performance with the triumphant first movement of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major. In this early work, the composer displays both the lyrical and virtuosic capabilities of the cello in a Baroque ritornello form. Issy’s cantabile playing was particularly effective in the ringing acoustic of All Saints’, and her dexterity in quick runs up the A-string were very impressive. This is clearly a repertoire Issy enjoys, and her playing showed great flair.