For his recital yesterday at the Phillips Collection, cellist Jeffrey Solow chose a program of works well-suited to his full-toned, romantic style. With pianist Doris Stevenson, who supported Solow handsomely, the cellist rendered works of Brahms, Bruch and Tchaikovsky with warmth and technical confidence.
Solow's strong, fluid bowing was immediately evident in the opening work, Piatigorsky's transcription of Boccherini's C Major Sonata. He sustained a lively, rich tone throughout, as he did in Brahms's Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99. Solow approached the slow movement's soaring melody with fine emotional energy, and he instilled the scherzo with rewarding vigor.
The Washington premiere of Henri Lazarof's "Momenti" (1987) for unaccompanied cello was offered with utmost confidence and true virtuoso flair. The five-movement work makes attractive use of the composer's typically appealing musical language, often angular and tense but never needlessly harsh.
Solow's smooth phrasing beautifully complemented the meditative character of Max Bruch's "Kol Nidrei," Op. 47, arranged from the larger work for cello and orchestra. He glided through Tchaikovsky's devilish "Pezzo capriccioso," Op. 62, with fleet and agile fingering and the same lush sound that added weight to his other interpretations.