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Cello Concertos [CD]

Steven Isserlis Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Performer: Steven Isserlis
  • Audio CD (15 Mar 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00000C2K2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I. Adagio - Moderato
2. II. Lento - Allegro molto
3. III. Adagio
4. IV. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro, ma non troppo
5. Schelomo
6. I. Molto sostenuto - Allegro molto e energico
7. II. Presto marcato
8. III. Andante con moto - Allegro
Disc: 2
1. Introduction
2. Theme (moderato semplice)
3. Variation I
4. Variation II
5. Variation III - Andante
6. Variation IV - Allegro vivo
7. Variation V - Andante grazioso
8. Variation VI - Allegro moderato
9. Variation VII - Andante sostenuto
10. Variation VIII e coda - Allegro moderato e con anima
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Wonderful!!! 13 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is a truly wonderful cd. Steven's interpretation of the Elgar, is almost in the same legue as Du Pre's. Schelomo is such a beatiful track & the Kabelevsky is fast and exicting. Tchaikovsky's rococo variations are pretty and elegant & Don Quixote, Well this recording is this best you can find out there off the piece, with Steven's wonderful playing & nobody can play the Clarinet solo's as well as Burt Hara, of the Minnesota Orchestra. Steven is an extraordinary player, and this cd shows that. This cd is ideal for any cellist or even just music lover in general. The only thing that let it down is that sound quality isn't that great, and you have turn the volume up high, just to hear it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent recording of several compositions for cello and orchestra, some of which are well known to audiences, and some much less well known. The recording of the Elgar Concerto rivals the inspiration of Jacqueline Du Pre's much earlier recording, but I especially enjoyed the Don Quixote and Kabalevsky recordings which demonstrate how exciting and enjoyable these works are, and how much they deserve to be performed much more frequently in public concerts. Steven Isserlis has a remarkable technical facility combined with wonderful sensitivity and power.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dont bother 15 Mar 2013
By Big Al
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Its a 2 disc set and the first disc is dreadful.The 2nd is better but not by much.I wish I hadn't bought it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong! 28 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If the 2nd CD in the package was misplaced it was probably a packaging error - I doubt Virgin would intentionally distribute a recording labelled as something else. For either cello connoisseurs who aren't familiar with many of Steven Isserlis' recordings or a novice who wants a sampling of some of the great cello concerto masterpieces played REALLY well, you can't go wrong with this bargain reissue. The sound is gorgeous, intense, and there aren't many other places you'll find any interpretations of the original version of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations of Kabalevsky's powerful unjustly neglected 2nd concerto.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the 2nd CD itself that's mislabeled, NOT the CD case 13 Mar 2001
By D. Nix - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Like the first reviewer, I, too, was disappointed when I first opened this 2-CD set. Among the listings on the back of the CD case are the tracks for Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rocco Theme for Cello and Orchestra" and Strauss' "Don Quixote", which are supposed to be on the 2nd CD. However, on the CD, itself, is printed the label, "RAVEL: Chamber Music (The Nash Ensemble).
Well, turns out, it's the CD itself that's mislabeled, not the CD case; for upon playing it your realize that the CD contains the tracks exactly as listed on the back of the CD case (with Steven Isserlis on the cello, I presume).
Anyway, this is a fine 2-CD set, passionately played, with well-recorded sound. And for the price, it's an exceptional deal!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recording! 15 Aug 2008
By Jon Brodersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Steven Isserlis is one of the greatest performers of this generation of string virtuosos (virtuosi?), and has been greatly over-looked. I highly reccommend seeing him perform live, if you get the chance. I saw him in Germany playing the Elgar Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig. I was absolutely blown away by the performance, and that means a lot, because in my opinion, Jaqueline Du Pre is the god of the Elgar, and no one can duplicate her mastery of the piece. Isserlis, however, came extremely close in my book.

Anyway, on to the CD. To start, the recording itself is great. Very clear, and the orchestras compliment Isserlis very well. The Elgar is exactly as I remembered it (though the Gewandhaus might have had a little more passion at the first big tutti section....believe me, it was phenominal. I was jumping out of my seat).

I really can't say much for the Bloch and the Kabalevsky---I haven't really listened to them as much as I should have. I'm not really a fan of either composer, to tell the truth.

The Strauss is awesome! I love this piece to begin with, and I think it was executed well by both the virtually unknown Minnesota Orchestra, and by Isserlis and Cynthia Phelps (viola). I especailly like the "Ride Through the Air" variation. Unlike some recordings I have heard of this piece, they decided to keep the wind machine, which adds so much extra flavor.

Now the only problem I have with this recording is the Tchaikovsky. For people who aren't too familiar with the piece, this is the ORIGINAL version of the piece, as penned by Tchaikovsky. The version that you will find 99% of the time is an arrangement by the cellist who premiered the piece, Guillaume Fitzenhagen. When Tchaikovsky handed him the piece, he disliked the program of the variations, so he reordered them and cut the last variation, replacing it with the fourth, convincing Tchaikovsky it was for the best. What Isserlis has done here is record the version that was in Tchaikovsky's head, not the version arranged by Fitzenhagen. Now it sounds like this should be an awesome deal, and yes, it is nice to have as a reference, but after listening to the real ending, I'm not impressed. I actually prefer Fitzenhagen's version, now that I've heard both versions. It seems like there's all this build-up in the fourth variation, and then nothing. And then when the last variation comes, it sounds like a weirder version of the fourth, followed by the great coda. As for Isserlis, he does the best that he can with the restored piece, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe does well accomapanying him, and has a nice quality.

So all-in-all, this CD is worth buying for the Elgar and the Strauss. The only reason I give this a 4 out of 5 stars is because of the choice of restoring the Tchaikovsky. I think it's great that there actually is a recording of it this way, but I'm just not in love with it. And as far as the Bloch and Kabalevsky go, make your own judgements, because I definitely do not have any. The beauty of CDs is that you can skip over entire pieces, if you wish.

Bravo, Steven Isserlis!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great CD to explore Cello Music 11 April 2001
By J. Park - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Elgar was performed so beautifully and so was the Bloch. The huge pieces were carried with viruosity. Iserliss is a great player and this is largely apparent in the shorter Tchaikovsky pieces (Andante Cantabile, Nocturne, Pezzo Cappriccioso) because the phrases were so charming and you just let the sound of the cello melt in your ear. This is an awesome deal so buy it and be careful where you leave your CD because a minor scratch keeps me from listening to the Kabalevsky Concerto.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Composers - Five Wonderful works for the Cello! 9 Jun 2012
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Thanks to the much-lamented Virgin Classics label, this is perhaps one of the best values ever presented by a record company. Steven Isserlis demonstrates his skill and understanding in cello works by Elgar, Bloch, Kabalevsky, Tchaikovsky,and Strauss. The recorded sound is wonderful. Isserlis and Hickox are especially effective in the Elgar Concerto and Bloch's Schelomo, but I think the selling point for this 2 CD set is his reading of the **original** scoring of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variation with John Eliot Gardiner. A great collection!
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