Music for two or more of the same instrument has always fascinated me. There aren’t many for the cello duo, but the half dozen works here show that this unusual combo can often be a terrific musical experience. Especially in the hands of such topflight players as Binney and Butcher. The program extends from the Baroque Period right up into the 20th century. Offenbach gave special attention to the cello, and his little march with variations is just one example of his tuneful music for the instrument.
Some of the pieces have one cello as the melody instrument and the other as accompaniment, while Danzi’s Mozart variations contain equal voicing between the two cellos. Four of the six composers were cellists themselves and had good reason to create works for their instrument – and in these cases for a compatriot as well. Gliere and HIndemith were not cellists themselves, but created lovely works for the cello duo. The record quality is excellent, and this is just one CD from the small UK label devoted entirely to music for the cello.
– John Sunier