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Cellist Alexander Baillie and pianist Nigel Yandell - CD Review, 7th of March 2024

Gabriel Fauré - Sonata No. 1 op. 109 in D minor; Maurice Ravel - Posthumous Sonata in A minor, arrangement for cello and orchestra.

Released on the British label First Hand Records, this is the 17th album released by Alexander Baillie, one of the leading cellists and teachers of his generation. The 1956-born musician studied in London and Vienna with Andre Navarra and Jacqueline de Pre as his mentors. He later taught cello at the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik in Bremen. He has had a distinguished career in both chamber music and as a concert soloist with BBC orchestras, performing a wide repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works. Alexander Baillie recorded this CD with Nigel Yandell - an experienced pianist, teacher and music director at Cambridge University and the Stradivari Trust - a company that supports talented young musicians in the UK.

The album includes three pieces from the Romantic and modern creation for cello and piano - Sonata No. 1 op. 109 in D minor by Gabriel Fauré, the Wavesongs Suite written in 1983 by the English composer Gordon Crosse and Sonata No. 12 in A minor for violin and piano by Maurice Ravel, in an arrangement dedicated to the cello by Christian Proske, works played by Alexander Baillie and Nigel Yandell with eloquence, consistency and timbral variety, expressiveness and interpretative refinement.

Larisa Clempuș