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Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos

Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos

1 Jan 2012
4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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1
7:47
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2
4:26
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3
5:07
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11:55
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1:40
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4:11
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11
3:48
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12
10:49
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Digital Booklet: Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos
Digital Booklet: Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos
Album Only

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2012
  • Release Date: 4 Feb. 2014
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 2012 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:02:20
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00AXFYI0U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,279 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard about this recording and how marvellous it is, but it remained unpurchased in my wishlist for ages because I was cynical about the hype surrounding any new artist, especially a first performance so soon after the composers death. The Carter is, for Carter, accessible and musical, obviously more modern than the Elgar but not outrageous or experimental in any way. The two pieces were not paired for purely marketing reasons, there is a similarity of idiom- probably enhanced by Weilerstein's approach- which this disc emphasises. Most importantly, the Elgar does not sound like a weak alternative to the Du Pre recording; if you have du Pre but have avoided buying two recordings of the same composition this would be a very good start to the collectors habit of 'compare and contrast'- maybe expensive, but certainly worthwhile! You will probably end up collecting Carter too, an amazing man.
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As we all know, taste in music is very personal - one person's loves are often another's hates. I bought this for the Elgar, which I have always loved since hearing La Du Pre's celebrated version (and I have on vinyl). But I cannot afford the space to have my record deck out, so when I heard about Wellerstein, I thought I would get it for my iPod library. I don't regret the decision.
I'm struggling with the Carter concerto, but maybe I will get to like it in time.
'Kol Nidrei' is simply beautiful!
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I find this recording rather confusing because of the contrast between the two main works that show the shift in classical music in the 20th century. The Elgar is a beautifully melodic work with stormy passages reflecting the time at which it was written [1919], the Carter work was written in 2001 and is a very different work with jagged rhythms and the orchestra occasionally bursting through. The work is of course wonderfully performed by Alisa Weilerstein and Daniel Barenboim [with the Staatskapelle Berlin]. my problem with the album lies with the choice of material although it may be an interesting choice for the performers and aficionados, but for the general listener who likes Elgar they might find the Carter piece too much of a change, the extra piece by Max Bruch is a better fit. So for the general listener I feel this is a bit too much of a contrast, but I must say that I found the contrast of two pieces almost a century apart an interesting experience.
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I listened to this new and well-publicised recording of Elgar's classic concerto with much interest and anticipation.
However, with several other fine recordings of the work in my library, this is not a performance I personally would generally reccomend -particularly to anyone coming to the work for the first time.
Since Jacqueline du Pres' famous landmark -and now historic- recording of 1965, it has arguably been rather difficult for any subsequent cellist to stamp their own individual interpretation on the work without straying far from Elgar's own directions regarding tempi/dynamics etc in the score.
The concerto was Elgar's last substantial composition; and although its character appears full of a wistful reminiscence -almost a memorial perhaps- to the era which formed the substantial part of his long life, before the reckless waste of World War I, Elgar was very much a 'man of his time.' Edwardians -especially men- were not given to overt emotion or wearing of 'hearts on sleeves' -as his own recordings show.
Although the justly famous du Pres/Barbirolli EMI performance is a bold,dramatic and often poignant reading, I do not find it ever succumbs to melodrama (unlike perhaps the later du Pres/Barenboim recording.) There is surely a world of diffference between a performer bringing their own personality to an interpretation and merely using a composition as a vehicle of personal expression.
However -though not in any way criticising Alisa Weilerstein's generous tone and impeccable technique, I personally find that indulgent tamperings with Elgar's markings are often too extreme -to the point that some important phrases lose all sense of any 'line' or direction, such is the length to which they are drawn out.
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I heard Alisa Weilerstein play the Dvorak in Symphony Hall B'ham, 2012?
Enjoyed it very much, she is a gifted and spontaneous player.
I had high hopes therefore for this recording, and am sorry to be disappointed by it.
I find it over emotive to the point of twitchy, nerve-shredding, neurotic panic.
It is brilliantly played, no question ... but ...even alongside Du Pre, the high water mark in emotional engagement with this piece hitherto, Weilerstein, time and time again, puts MORE stress, MORE rubatto, MORE extremes of dynamic.
I'm not sure the piece survives this kind of extreme treatment.
The other problem is that the orchestra and soloist sound to have been recorded in different rooms. Cello is very close, orchestra is muffled and inner parts lack any clarity.
I seem the minority here - but I am not convinced by this as an interpretation.
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This recording must be considered totally. It is not just the Elgar's Cello Concerto, but also the concert for cello by American composer Elliot Carter, who gave his approval to this reading before passing away recently. And the closing enconre, the Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch is moving and masterfully played. This is a well balanced recording: a young cellist prodigy paired with a veteran like Barenboim. The Elgar will immediately be opposed to the readings by Jacqueline Du Pre, including the seminal with Barbirolli and a great one with Barenboim later. Alisa points out she has studied the Du Pre readings with care since her early youth, but she tries her own approach here, avoiding to imitate Du Pre. And this is a good approach and her bravery yields good results. I do not manage technical or musicology details, but as a lover of music I feel very happy with the tempi and the expression on the Elgar reading. The player and the orchestra truly dialogue and there is a great sound. I enjoyed and I praise it as a new standard for the 21st century of this masterpiece. The Carter material is contemporary and idiosincratic. It takes more time to be felt and seems more "rational". It is a contemporary cello concerto opposed to a late-romantic one as the Elgar's. I guess it is more demanding and will be more exciting if watched, but I am getting to enjoy it. It is a work which takes advantage of all the resources of the cello and the blessing of the performance by the composer is key. The Kol Nidrei really touched me. It is a great bonus and her emotional power is perfectly catched here. It remains me the old reading by Casals, which is terrific. This young Alisa gives breath to an instrument which seemed lacking a flag performer after Rostropovich passed away. Long life to the queen ! Hope she delivers new material soon. I am awaiting in the future the Bach Cello Suites with anxiety.
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