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“Cello 360”
Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, le Fils: Suite n° 4 in E minor: “Prélude X.XVII” [1]
John Dowland: Lachrimæ antiquæ, n° 1: “Lachrimæ” [1]
Marin Marais: Deuxième Livre de pièces de viole: Suite n° 1 in D minor, n° 20, “Les Folies d’Espagne” (arr. solo cello) – Suite n° 3 in D major, n° 63, “Les Voix Humaines” [1]
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Nouvelles Suites de pièces de clavecin: “Les Sauvages” [1]
Pablo Casals: El Cant dels ocells [1]
Henri Dutilleux: Trois strophes sur le nom de SACHER [1]
Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: “Dido’s Lament” [1]
György Ligeti: Sonata for Solo Cello [1]
Georg Philipp Telemann: Sonata for viola da gamba, TWV 40:1: “Allegro vivace” [1]
Thierry Escaich: Cantus I [1]
Edvard Grieg (arr. C.-P. La Marca): Peer Gynt, opus 23: n° 21, “Chanson de Solveig” [1]
Giovanni Sollima: Lamentatio [1]
Charles Chaplin (arr. solo cello): Modern Times: “Love Theme” [2]
John Lennon and Paul McCartney (arr. C.-P. La Marca): "Yesterday" [2]
Christian-Pierre La Marca, Rayann, M.A.S.: "Timeless" [2]

Christian-Pierre La Marca (cello)
Recording: Prieuré de Pommiers-en-Forez, France (July 13-16, 2020) [1], Riffx Studio, La Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt, France (August 30-31, 2020) [2] – 73'40
Naïve Classiques V 7260

“When I started learning the cello, I fell in love with the instrument because it seemed like a voice – my voice” Mstislav Rostropovich

Words from the great Russian cellist traverse boundaries of time, and, indeed, the voice we now hear from esteemed artist, Christian-Pierre La Marca, is a heralded reckoning of independence and enthusiasm. Unmistakably, the highly introspective cellist extraordinaire has presented a new album that leaves nothing to the imagination.

To elicit the perfect temperament for each œuvre (that are, indeed, quite varied), M. La Marca uses two types of bows: one, a replicate of François-Xavier Tourte’s Baroque bow and the other, a ‘modern’ bow created by Jacob Eury. No stone is left unturned: the bowstring wisks forward and backward, gyrating and contorting in ways inconceivable. Christian-Pierre La Marca not only scrutinizes the instrument’s infinitesimal possibilities by carefully choosing music from Baroque to electronic, but he also selects two diverse venues to maximize the greatest acoustical effects. Mainstream cello enthusiasts will discover a completely new dimension in “Cello 360”.

While we range through more traditional selections, astringency occasionally pops up: polyphonics and wide harmonics pervade the ear, though they willfully shape and sharpen the musical landscape....exhilarating! It’s at these turns that Christian-Pierre La Marca reinforces his craft. The demarcation of Henri Dutilleux’s notes, alongside the scrupulous management and reverential textures, act as if we’re regaling upon Elgar’s camouflaged enigmas, but on another axis. Another recipe for detail rests inside Pablo Casals’ The Song of the Birds, a devotion of peace and its humanely plaintive élan. M. La Marca holds firm memories inside Thierry Escaich’s Cantus I that journeys to the other side of the world. Unpretentious and fearless is La Marca…he who dares to defy everything around him with tumultuous technique. Fascinating. Milder in its inventions, György Ligeti’s Sonata for Solo Cello is the yin and yang of the 20th century, and this comes across in acute fashion by the cellist.

Incisive with a punctilious pulse of perfection, Christian-Pierre La Marca also puts his stamp of musicianship on various arrangements. The striking passage, “Solveig’s Song”, draws deeper intimacy...raw and stripped to basics. In another version of the classic "Yesterday", the cellist holds strictly to the melody line where simplicity is its wondrous virtue, like a cool stream of water found in a glade...richly voluminous.

The final coda is the cross-sectional, "Timeless", which sums up “Cello 360”. We’re soothed inside the notes while dwelling upon our present realities, yet everything seems to be held in suspended animation. It’s as if this tripartite venture (featuring Rayann and M.A.S.) gives us another breath to look back, all the way back to 17th century reality and return in the now. Though the distance isn’t a formidable bridge to cross...we connect, we sigh, we heal. "Timeless" is a magneto-column of zen togetherness we all yearn for in these troubling times. It seems as if the final piece gives piquant summation to what the cello is really about: an irrefutable messenger from the past and a clairvoyant to the future.

Christian-Pierre La Marca’s performance is a knock-out.

Christie Grimstad




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