- Cours méthodique de duos, for 2 cellos, Op. 54: No. 2: Polonaise
- Cours méthodique de duos, for 2 cellos, Op. 54: No. 2: Andante
- Cours méthodique de duos, for 2 cellos, Op. 54: No. 2: Allegro
- Cours méthodique de duos, for 2 cellos, Op. 54: No. 1: Rondo. Allegro
- Cours méthodique de duos, for 2 cellos, Op. 54: No. 1: Adagio religioso
The thought of Offenbach having composed anything outside of opera is a curious one. Even more curious is the notion that Offenbach himself was a rather gifted cellist and performed as one for many years. Perhaps to showcase his own considerable skills, Offenbach produced two suites scored for two cellos. On listening, it's relatively clear that while Offenbach himself may have been a skilled performer on the instrument, his comfort with composing for the cello is questionable. The two suites are filled with a charming, playful melody quite reminiscent of his operas, but there is a good amount of writing that seems much more difficult than it needs to be. Not merely demonstrating virtuosity, Offenbach's suites almost seem as if they were conceived for a different instrument. Nevertheless, they are still a charismatic and undeservedly unknown addition to the repertoire. Performing the two suites are cellists Roland Pidoux and Étienne Péclard, both of whom posses more than ample technique to deliver on Offenbach's lofty demands. Their playing is clearly articulate and well-balanced, and nicely blends together. There are moments in the upper reaches of the first cello part where intonation seems to trend sharp, but overall Pidoux and Péclard produce a solid performance that cello enthusiasts will welcome into their libraries.
|Label:||Harmonia Mundi Fr.|