The programme as a whole is a delight, the bar set by the Variations on a Theme of Rossini which Blecha-Wells, immaculately supported (as throughout) by Sun Min Kim, milks for all its humorous potential.
Blecha-Wells is technically dazzling in the Rossini variations, and the sweeping phrasing, passion and fine dynamic range together with a great balance with the piano continue throughout the disc. The final Variations on a Slovakian Theme provide an equally dazzling conclusion to an excellent CD.
Throughout SMALL STORMS, the duo’s playing blends wonderfully, no matter a passage’s virtuosity or simplicity. It should come as no surprise that Martinů’s cello writing is highlighted in this recording – Blecha-Wells’ lyrical warmth and powerful athleticism triumphantly illustrate why the composer welcomed her instrument’s entire expressive continuum in his music.
What makes the album so special is not just that Martinů’s music is so attractive and imaginative, though it is, nor that Meredith Blecha-Wells and Sun Min Kim are such excellent musicians, but that they’re having so much sheer fun with the music that it is infectious from the very first note and never lets up.