Natalie Clein and Charles Owen

MICHAEL DRAKE What a beautiful sound the cello makes and in the hands of one of the BBC's New Generation of featured artists Natalie Clein, it was singing in pleasure.

MICHAEL DRAKE

What a beautiful sound the cello makes and in the hands of one of the BBC's New Generation of featured artists Natalie Clein, it was singing in pleasure. In fact, the opening movement of Schumann's Fantasiestucke is really an extended song in which accompanist Charles Owen also had his fair share of melodious lines. In contrast, a wild start to the finale was always in accord with the composer's instructions to play it in "mit feuer". Stretching the cello even further, Schubert's Cello Sonata in A, a second piece originally written for a different instrument – the six-stringed arpeggione. Again, full of joy and with a finely contrasted passage at the centre of the Allegro and another, soulful and reflective opening the second movement, it was played with great artistry and obvious passion before a lively, carefree ending.

Balance between cello and piano had been perfect so far and so it continued in Prokofiev's Sonata in C. Set deeply in the cello's register and more conventional than some of his works, it was given a really sense of moving purpose. While Britten's unaccompanied Suite No 3, was rather like a master class in cello playing.

The long silence after the final, drawn note, was literally extraordinary. In summation, a romantic evening's music.

t Natalie Clein and Charles Owen were performing at the John Innes Centre, NorwichResearch Park.

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