Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op 104; Klid ('Silent Woods'), Op 68 No 5; Bloch: Schelomo

Reviewed on Wed 06 Sep, 2017

With his outstandingly secure technique, beguilingly rich tone and subtle range of expression, colour and dynamic, the French cellist Marc Coppey cuts a commandingly articulate figure.

Marc Coppey gives one of the most sensitively shaped, engagingly perceptive accounts of Dvořák's towering Cello Concerto to have come my way in some time. With his outstandingly secure technique, beguilingly rich tone and subtle range of expression, colour and dynamic, Coppey cuts a commandingly articulate figure. However, it's in the many quieter episodes that the Frenchman really has something special to say, not least the first movement's second subject (which here comes close to the ideal), towards the end of the slow movement, and – perhaps above all – during those heartrendingly wistful reminiscences prior to the work's joyous B major peroration. Kirill Karabits's painstakingly prepared, lovingly detailed accompaniment with the excellent DSO Berlin adds further lustre to a hugely rewarding display, whose whose countless felicitous touches are sure to lure you back for more. It's preceded by a lovely performance of Dvořák's tenderly intimate Silent Woods, and there's an arresting curtain-raiser in the shape of Bloch's Schelomo – not quite as boldly impassioned as renderings from Natalie Clein (Hyperion) or Raphael Wallfisch (Nimbus), to say nothing of the legendary Feuermann/Stokowski collaboration in Philadelphia from 1940, but full of fervour, insight and atmosphere none the less. A most desirable release.
–Andrew Achenbach