|Nothing that emerges from Manfred Eicher’s ECM stable is likely to lack a considered musical context, and true to form cellist Thomas Demenga’s programme is no mere string of encores. The chain of musical events always seems to follow some sort of purpose, be it for contrast or for continuity, the catchy opening solo, which ends on pizzicato harmonics, stopping short before Demenga and accordionist Teodor Anzellotti lean together for a couple of Bach Chorales, one slow, the other sporting a swift and elegant accompaniment. Picking up the tempo allows for an easy hop from Bach to Cassadó and a switch from Anzollotti’s sonorous wheezing to Thomas Larcher’s sassy pianoplaying. …
Another well planned sequence has Demenga’s won version of Chopin’s famous E flat Nocturne followed by Liszt’s La lugubre gondola, then a piece of his own devising “after Berg and Bach”, and more Bach, again with Anzellotti. The programme closes with two uproarious minutes’ worth of New York Honk, a bit like rushing across a busy road with your head still in the clouds, not surprising given everything that we’ve been listening to! I enjoyed it all hugely.
Rob Cowan, Gramophone