“Sergey Malov: 13 Strings, Vol. One” = BACH: 2 Suites for Solo Cello; BARTOK: Sonata for Solo Viola – Christian Euler, viola/ Paul Rivinus, p. – EaSonus USA

by | Dec 29, 2013 | Classical CD Reviews

“Sergey Malov: 13 Strings, Volume One” =  BACH: Suites for Solo Cello, BWV 1007 and 1012; BARTOK: Sonata for Solo Viola, Sz. 117, BB 124 – Christian Euler, viola/ Paul Rivinus, p. – EaSonus USA B00ELFG608, 66:00 [2013] *****: 

From Russian-Hungarian violoncello da spalla (the cello you play on your shoulder) virtuoso Sergey Malov comes a first installment of the Bach Solo Cello Suites, 1007 and 1012. The ease and felicity with which Malov and his largely hypothetical instrument (made by the Russian luthier Dmitry Badiarov) handle the challenges of Bach’s writing have a justification in just being able to listen to such familiar music on such unfamiliar grounds. Beautiful sound and presentation. (Since Malov is also a virtuoso violinist, in between the two Bach Suites he plays Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin to compare and contrast).

Whatever the musical merits of Sergey Malov’s case, the instrument he plays has unique tonal and expressive qualities; if we are willing to listen to Keith Jarrett play Bach on the piano, then there’s no reason why we can’t check out and profitably Sergey Malov playing Bach on one of Dmitry Badiarov’s shoulder cellos.

In March Sergey will record 13 Strings, Volume 2, with two more Bach Suites and Ligeti’s Solo Viola Sonata.

—Laurence Vitte

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