The Boston Cello Quartet, comprised of four young cellists from the Boston Symphony, will release its debut disc on February 5th. The BSQ was founded in 2010 by Blaise Déjardin, Adam Esbensen (formerly of the Oregon Symphony, and a Corvallis native), Mihail Jojatu and Alexandre Lecarme. They rotate lead players for each piece they perform, and each player is brilliantly suited to the task at hand, showing the virtuosity and flexibility of the quartet, both collectively and individually.
The album’s title is ‘Pictures’, and this is undoubtedly due to the fact that the centerpiece of the disc is a virtuoso arrangement of selected movements from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The arrangement, by Blaise Déjardin, is quite breathtaking in its simplicity and ingenuity. Listening to each of the movements, I found myself quite forgetting Ravel’s virtuoso orchestration, and simply enjoying the tonal possibilities of the four cellos, and the beautiful playing throughout.
There is a wide selection of material for just about any mood on this disc – from the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, to Debussy’s Clair de Lune, to Piazzolla’s La Muerte del Angel. And the piece de resistance may be the final encore selection by Déjardin, his Mozart Variations, which has the temerity to combine Mahler, Mozart, John Williams, Rossini, McCartney, and Haydn into a delightful bon bon.
The sonics of the disc are as superb as the playing. I recommend this disc most highly!