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PIATTI 12 Caprices for Solo Cello

Author:  Andrew Aronowicz

Review Date: 04/2015



Piatti's 12 Caprices are a cellist's answer to Paganini's devilish violin solos. They're highly demanding etudes, which, as Carmine Miranda proves, are also effective showpieces that make for highly enjoyable listening. The Venezuelan/American cellist is a fiery presence, handling these formidable works with bravura and an elegant musicality (the performance is all the more impressive as it's unedited). 


The size and proportions of the cello are no hindrance to Miranda who achieves surprisingly limber readings. What's most impressive is his expert handling of Piatti's polyphony: the Caprices require the soloist to play simultaneous melody and accompaniment. There's no compromise on clarity and sense of line in Miranda's performance - his agility and precision in the Third Caprice are particularly noteworthy.


There's similarly fine work in the First and Seventh Caprices, with quicksilver bowing and fingering that would give violinists a run for their money. The Sixth has a more expressive feel that at times requires Miranda to play stratospherically high in the cello's range. This and the rhapsodic moments of the Second and Eleventh are welcome contrasts to the mostly fast, dance-like music. 

Miranda's playing is on the lighter, lither side, but the engineered sound lacks the full-bodied punch you'd find on other cello recordings. Otherwise a nice find for cello-enthusiasts, as well as a great showcase for this young talent. 


This article originally appeared in Limelight Magazine, April 2015 pg.79

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