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  • Dvorak: Cello Concertos [Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding] [Hyperion: CDA67917]
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Dvorak: Cello Concertos [Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding] [Hyperion: CDA67917]


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Dvorak: Cello Concertos [Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding] [Hyperion: CDA67917] + Haydn: Cello Concertos No. 1 In C Major & No. 2 In D Major; Symphony No. 13 In D Major; Sinfonia Concertante In B-Flat Major - Sony Classical Masters
Price For Both: £19.38

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Product details

  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Composer: Antonín Dvoák
  • Audio CD (30 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00DW7OQ7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cello Concerto in B minor Op 104 | Allegro [14'52]
2. Cello Concerto in B minor Op 104 | Adagio ma non troppo [11'29]
3. Cello Concerto in B minor Op 104 | Allegro moderato [13'04]
4. Lasst mich allein Op 82 No 1 arranged for orchestra by B LEOPOLD [4'22] - Mahler Chamber Orchestra
5. Cello Concerto in B minor (original ending) Op 104 [1'32]
6. Cello Concerto in A major B10 revised and orchestrated by GÜNTER RAPHAEL | Andante | Allegro non troppo [16'31]
7. Cello Concerto in A major B10 revised and orchestrated by GÜNTER RAPHAEL | Andante cantabile [6'56]
8. Cello Concerto in A major B10 revised and orchestrated by GÜNTER RAPHAEL | Allegro risoluto [10'27]

Product Description

Product Description

Hyperion is delighted to present the world's best-loved cello concerto performed by one of the world's best-loved cellists: national treasure Steven Isserlis. Isserlis has waited 40 years to record this pinnacle of the repertoire, and here with his regular collaborators, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, this long gestation has proved to be overwhelmingly fruitful. Isserlis writes of the concerto that 'the power of its emotional journey, expressed with Dvorák's characteristically folk-like simplicity and directness, offers an irresistible mix of the epic and the touchingly confessional'. The combination of emotional power and simplicity is also a feature of Isserlis's playing, and part of what makes him such a consummate performer of this work.

This album puts Dvorák's B minor cello concerto in context, including not only the original ending, but an orchestral version of the song Lasst mich allein which is quoted in the concerto's second and third movements.

Isserlis has also recorded a version of Dvorák's first cello concerto, a little-known work from the composer's early period which he never orchestrated. This version (in what is almost definitely its premiere recording) is by German composer Günter Raphael, whose works were performed by Furtwängler among others, and is extensively rewritten from the composer's original. To turn to Isserlis's own words again: 'Of course, it is not a masterpiece on the level of the later B minor concerto; but is it fair to lock up an older child just because their younger sibling is a genius? I love the A major concerto for the beauty of its melodies, for the freshness of its inspiration, for its typically rustic spiritand for the sense of sheer joy that bubbles through the entire work.'

Review

This is one of the most exciting performances of recent years. BBC music orchestral choice Performance ***** recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Nov'13

I was immediately struck by the dark-toned nobility of Isserlis's sound, and his assurance in passages, particularly in the first movement, that produce audible stress in many other players.Given the bonus of big, bold and warm sound from the engineering team, this recording should leave those who acquire it with no regrets. --IRR, Oct'13

Isserlis achieves a vast emotional impact not only with his intensity of tone, but often, too, with its purity, directness and subtlety. ***** --Sinfini Music, 18/10/13

Isserlis is on spellbindingly eloquent form in an entrancing poetic and urgently communicative reading that really does sound like it s being captured on the wing. GRAMOPHONE CHOICE --Gramophone, Oct'13

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Entartete Musik on 8 Oct. 2013
One of the finest concerts I have ever attended was in 2007 at the Barbican, when Steven Isserlis, the OAE and Simon Rattle performed Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor and his Sixth Symphony. I have often longed to repeat the experience, but Isserlis has delayed recording the touchstone Concerto for many years. Now, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, we have the results, heroic and humble in equal measure.

Isserlis is drawn to what he describes as the 'irresistible mix of the epic and the touchingly confessional' in the B minor Concerto. Those are precisely the qualities he brings out in this new recording. Valiant when required, he also shows the work's more retiring side, creating whispered dialogues with the woodwind in the second movement cadenza and great rocking camaraderie with the heaven-bound violin solo in the Finale.

Having zoomed in and out of these intimate scenes, Isserlis promptly commands the listener's attention with a truly lustrous forte. Occasionally you feel the cello might be too prominent in the mix, placed not within but in front of the orchestra and thereby forcing them to take a back seat. We lose a little clarity too, but these are minor quibbles, easily overlooked when the playing, both from Isserlis and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is so superb.

Harding takes a slightly more direct approach with the piece than Isserlis, as if the former were the level-headed brother of the latter, yet there is much to enjoy within the collaboration. The peaceful passivity of the chorale textures Harding elicits in the slow movement are particularly ravishing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By afficianado on 5 Oct. 2013
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I have deliberately played this new recording by Steven Isserlis of the -almost ubiquitous- Dvorak B minor Cello concerto several times before commenting.
It is certainly good to have such a fresh and individual interpretion of this truly magnificent and famous concerto, with the usual high production values from "Hyperion" -and with booklet notes on the music by Isserlis himself.
His first entry is incisive, bold and dramatic -which sets the tone generally for much of his interpretation of the concerto throughout. It goes without saying that his technique is well up to the demands of all the music.
However,whether this new recording goes quite up to the very 'top of the tree' compared with one or two stalwart 'classics' in the catalogues is of course perhaps much a question -as always- of personal taste and view.
I note the comments of the 4-star reviewer regarding the quality of the recording favouring the orchestra at the expense of the solo cello.
However, I personally find that the recording of the B minor concerto is (unusually for Hyperion, and perhaps due to the particular venue) slightly 'muddy' in its recording of Isselis as well. It does in places obscure the detail (e.g.in such passages as the scurrying multi-stopped triplets toward the end of the 1st movement) in a manner that the ear just cannot hear even the rhythm of the notes, and such passages therefore pass by in a frenetic blur.
This slight lack of clarity and transparency does also lose some of beautiful line Isselis draws out -such as in the lachrymose 2nd theme of the first movement; when he softens the sound, or occasionally when the line descends, it is not always clear where the music is going.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Carol Haynes on 2 Oct. 2013
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First let me say this is a lovely recording and it is really good to hear the earlier concerto.

Playing is uniformly very good from orchestra and soloist - yes it was worth the wait.

For me things are slightly marred by the balance between the soloist and the orchestra. The cello doesn't have a massive sound but in some passages you can barely hear the orchestra because the cello is so forward in the mix. For me a great recording is when the balance is like the best concert hall in the world - it doesn't do solists any favours to ruin the dialogue between the solo instrument and orchestral instruments by making the soloist too dominant.
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This new Dvorak Album released on a CD in 2013, Catalogue No CDA67917, is recorded in DDD and contains eight tracks recording Dvoraks' two cello concertos, the A Major No 1 and the B Minor No 2. Also included is the original ending of the B Minor Cello Concerto and a short piece for cello and orchestra, Lasst mich allein Op 82 No 1, composed in 1888. The new album which was recorded in Italy in 2012 was made in France and released on the Hyperion label. The album features a superb performance from the English cellist, Steven Isserlis, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding. I found the included booklet written by Steven Isserlis especially interesting and informative and is written in English, French, and German.

Steven Isserlis who was born in 1958 has produced magnificent performances of all pieces recorded. The two cello concertos are absolute masterpieces. The B minor cello concerto which chronologically is second is arguably the most
popular cello concerto ever written. I have numerous performances of this magnificient piece both on CD and DVD with soloists such as Fournier, Rostropovich, Du Prey, Sadlo amongst others and I can honestly say Isserlis's performance is right up there amongst those other world renowned performances.

I think it is important to focus for a moment on the two concertos. The A Major Cello Concerto No 1 was composed by Dvorak in 1865 with the cello accompanied by a piano taking the place of the orchestra. It lasts almost an hour. The orchestration of the A Major Concerto came later firstly by the German composer Gunter Raphael in the mid 1920's. This rendition is somewhat freer with the intended hope that it would be closer to what Dvorak may have written had he returned to it for completion.
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