Cellist Christoph Croise's lockdown-inspired The Solo Album features the great Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly's epic Sonata alongside works by his compatriots Gyorgy Ligeti and cellist-composer-pop music producer Peter Pejtsik, the Sicilian composer-cello virtuoso Giovanni Sollima, Croatian cellist-composer Thomas Buritch, and Christophe's first-ever composition for solo cello.
Modernism. Multiculturism. Multi-tuning. Lockdown. These are among the elements that bind the works on The Solo Album by award winning cellist Christoph Croise, who took the opportunity of 2020's coronavirus isolation to work intensively on a variety of solo works and also turn his hand to composition.
At the heart of the album is Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly's epic Sonata, the first major work for solo cello after the suites by Johann Sebastian Bach which were written two centuries earlier. The virtuosity demands of the soloist re-tuning two of the cello's strings, double-stop trills and simultaneous bowed and plucked passages, all of which Christoph dispatches with aplomb. Framing Kodaly's Sonata are works by two compatriots, Gyorgy Ligeti's two-movement Sonata which draws inspiration from Bela Bartok, and the more recent Stonehenge by cellist, composer and pop-music producer Peter Pejtsik which includes intimations of electric guitar. A "sandwich filler" is Christophe's first composition for solo cello, Spring Promenade, which is infused with boogie-woogie, reggae, swing and techno. He took inspiration from Sicilian composer-cello virtuoso Giovanni Sollima whose Concerto Rotondo incorporates electronics and extended techniques. Closing out the album, Sollima's short work Alone gives way to the album's "encore", the exuberant Some like to show it off by Croatian cellist-composer Thomas Buritch.
Lauded for 'delicate yet virtuosic' playing (BBC Music Magazine) and 'seamless subtleties of tone colour' with 'plenty of edge' (The Strad), Swiss-French-German cellist Christoph Croise is quickly building an international reputation as one of the most captivating young concert soloists to emerge in recent years. Born in 1993, he made his New York debut at the age of 17 at Carnegie Hall, where he has performed on several occasions since. Today, his busy international performing schedule includes regular appearances in many of the world's renowned concert halls.
Croise has taken first prize in a number of competitions, among them the Schoenfeld International String Competition (Harbin, 2016), the 2nd Berliner International Music Competition 2018 (First Grand Prize), the Manhattan International Music Competition (2016), the 'Salieri-Zinetti' International Chamber Music Competition (Verona, 2016), the International Johannes Brahms Competition (2015), the International 'IBLA Grand Prize' Competition (Sicily, 2010), the International 'Petar Konjovic 711;' Competition (Belgrade, 2009) and the Migros-Kulturprozent (Zurich, 2015 and 2016), as well as 3rd Prize at the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition (Morelia, Mexico, 2016) and Gold Medal with honours at the first Berliner International Music Competition (2017). In 2017 he was awarded the Swiss Ambassador's Award, and the following year received the 'Prix Jeune soliste 2019 des Medias francophone publics'. His debut album with Oxana Shevchenko was released in May 2015 on Quartz Classics, his second album, Summer Night, including Othmar Schoeck's cello concerto, was released in February 2018 on GENUIN classics, and his third album (Haydn, Vivaldi Cello Concertos) was released in March 2019 on AVIE Records, winning the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato Magazine and the 'Clef d'or' for the best concerto album of 2019 from ResMusica Magazine. His fourth release and second on AVIE, The Russian Album with pianist Alexander Panfilov, was released in November 2019.
Croise plays a rare Italian master cello, crafted in 1680. He is very thankful for the multiple scholarships granted to him in recent years by the Lyra Foundation.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM "a recording teeming with sparkle and relentless in fizz." Gramophone (on Haydn Cello Concertos AV2402) "top-flight consistently satisfying" AllMusic (on The Russian Album AV2410) "Thumpingly good" BBC Music Magazine (on Haydn Cello Concertos AV2402)