About the album
CD1 CCS 7395 Violoncello Concerto in C major; Violoncello Concerto in D major; Symphony no. 104 in D major Ensemble Florilegium CD 2 CCS 11097 R. Schumann: Violoncello Concerto in A minor op.129 (1850); Fantasiestcke op.73 (1849); 5 Stcke im Volkston op.102 (1849); P. Hindemith: 3 Stcke fr Violoncello und Klavier op.8 (1917) instruments: violoncello: Bohemian 19th century; piano: J.B. Streicher (ca. 1870) Netherlands Philharmoic Orchestra, Lawrence Renes, conductor Paolo Giacometti, piano CD 3 CCS 8695 A. Dvorák: Celloconcert in B minor, op.104 (1894/95); Rondo in G minor, op.94 (1893); Klid (‘Silent Woods’, transcription from the Bohemian forest) op.68 no. 5 (1883/84), A. Arensky: Chant Triste, op.56 no. 3 P.I. Tchaikovsky: Andante cantabile, op.11, transcription from string quartet no. 1 in D, K. Davïdov: Am Springbrunnen, op.20 no.2 Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti, leader Netherlands Wind Ensemble Paolo Giacometti , piano CD 4 CCS 12998 Elgar Cello Concerto in e op.85 (1919), W. Lutoslawski: Cello Concerto (1970)Netherlands Radio Philharmonic , Jac van Steen , conductor CD 1 Haydn could be perfectly described as a genius who could work to order. After all, the great majority of his considerable oeuvre was written on commission either for the Esterházy orchestra, for his two tours to London, or for a friendly nobleman, noblewoman, or virtuoso. Thus he could be sure that nearly everything he composed would also actually be performed. This was surely a powerful stimulus to write even more, and even better music. Most of Haydn’s solo concerti were written for the Esterházy family, for their orchestra, and for the outstanding soloists who were members of that ensemble, and performed by these same musicians at the castle. This is obvious not only from the dedicatory formulas on the manuscripts, but also from the exceptionally virtuosic solo parts of Haydn’s concerti for violin, violoncello, keyboard, organ, flute, trumpet and horn. Haydn was able to produce an effortless combination of extreme virtuosity with intense lyricism and playful melodies, sometimes of a folklike quality, other times inclining more to the baroque. Thus audience and performers alike were satisfied in every respect....CD 2 This CD unites late works of Schumann with those of the young Hindemith. Schumann composed his cello concerto at the age of forty. Barely a month after settling in Dusseldorf, the brand new Stadtische Musikdirektor completed this wondrous example of the form in less than two weeks during October 1850. During a grave psychotic episode four years later, he sought comfort in this melancholy composition, a favorite among his works. As he made the final corrections, he was trying to chase devilish voices and images of tigers and hyenas from his troubled mind. His remission did not last. Shortly afterwards, on a stormy 27 February 1854, he threw himself into the Rhine...but was rescued by sailors. Two years later, Schumann died in an asylum near Bonn. He was forty-six, and left behind him the finest cello concerto composed since that by (1783) and the most frequently performed after the one by Dvorak.....CD 3 Within the realm of instrumental music, the romantic solo concerto is the little brother of its big sister, the opera. It is a genre unmistakably more theatrical than the symphony or any type of chamber music. Its name implies spectacle, conflict, and strong contrasts. The world of opera is much the same: dying heroes speak their farewells in the language of belcanto, and emotions are magnified to such vast proportions that they cannot be misunderstood by anyone in the furthest reaches of the theatre, in the back rows of the balcony and the most remote galleries. At the same time, both the solo concerto and opera are more concrete and human than the abstracter genres. Magic is sometimes achieved in the greatest operas when the explicitly stated still allows the suggestion of an additional dimension. Measured by that criterion, Dvoiák 's cello concerto is a successful solo concerto. Ifind it intriguing and particularly sympathetic that the concerto's most important extra dimensions are its warm humanity and unpretentious simplicity. The lyrical passages give us moments of visionary intensity, but above all they are characterised by great purity. The heroic moments are not aggressive, but rather sparkling, lively, and filled with vigor. Intimacy blossoms in the numerous pastoral and picturesque passages, and the festive scenes are enlived with the sound of the triangleCD 4 Preparing these two concertos for a recording meant that I could study not only the scores but also the recordings of these pieces which had been conducted by the composers themselves. This was an obvious possibility for the Lutoslawski, but less so for the Elgar concerto, since Elgar's own recording with Beatrice Harrison has only fairly recently become available. It was also fascinating to have an undeniably legitimate alternative to the legendary, inspiring Du Pr-Barbirolli recording, sounding very different although both soloists were young and impassioned female cellists. It is a great privilege and pleasure for a musician of today to be able to enjoy and analyze the innumerable recordings currently available of most musical masterpieces. The only danger is that one might be discouraged from making the attempt oneself (not unimaginable in the case of the Elgar Concerto in the post-Du Pr era); but in general, ignoring the wealth of recordings would mean denying that one always has, in one way or another, been influenced (even by random sources such as one's grandfather's record collection). Therefore it is better to keep one's scope as broad as possible and simply hope that some traces of individuality will refuse to be denied. Fortunately, good music is immortal and interpretation just a matter of breathing new life into music, retelling the story, and translating it for a contemporary audience. Of course, musicians do this with the idea that a given interpretation is most successful if as much effort as possible is made to achieve the style of performance in which one imagines that the composer expected the piece to be performed. The results, particularly in the field of 'early' music during the past 20 years, have been incredible and imaginative, although, of course, the much discussed 'authenticity' is a relative quality. The intended authenticity, after all, can only have existed during the first week after the composition of a given work, or at most during the first 10 years (but in that case only in certain specific performances).