Corinne Morris & SCO - Chrysalis - BBC Music Magazine

Performance: 4 stars

Recording: 4 stars

Corinne Morris has called her album 'Chrysalis' — in reference not only to her own enforced absence from the concert platform for several years owing to injury, but also to the fact that the two main pieces she's chosen lay dormant for so long. These two concertos were, in fact, both 20th-century rediscoveries. The now familiar Haydn C major Concerto came to light as late as 1961, while the music of the once-forgotten early 18th-century Viennese composer Georg Matthias Monn was revived by Schoenberg, who arranged one of his harpsichord concertos for cello in the vain hope that Pablo Casals would play it, and also edited his G minor Cello Concerto for its first publication in modern times. The latter is an attractive piece, with some surprisingly quirky chromatic passages in the tutti sections of its opening movement.

Morris gives sensitive and stylish performances of both, and she's ably supported by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and its leader, Stephanie Gonley. Perhaps Morris has an occasional tendency to be over-expressive: in the slow movement of the Haydn, for instance, her first solo entry is even slower than the orchestral opening bars, and the music thereafter is in danger of dragging. It's a pity, too, that the recording places the cello just a little too close, so that you can hear every movement of the bow across the strings. But this is an enjoyable disc, and the Couperin pieces arranged by the French cellist and teacher Paul Bazelaire make a refreshingly inauthentic bonus.

BBC Music Magazine
01 February 2018