About the album
In its narrowest sense, the label “Rococo” pertains to the exaggeration and the mannerisms of the post-baroque era, but on this recording it can refer to any period or style in which old rules no longer apply, and new rules are not ready yet. From the crevices of music history, EPR Classic digs up three masterpieces, which take on fresh relevance in the hands of a virtuoso who delights in the foiling of conventions, and the conducting of formalities with a nod and a wink, while using new masks, colors, registers and gestures.
Nothing is what it seems on this recording. The only piece which is strictly Rococo – CPE Bach’s Cello Concerto in A – sounds romantic on account of its spicy charm and almost improper energy. Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations (1877) firmly belong to the Romantic catalogue, but borrow gestures from bygone ages to express how homeless their composer felt in his own times. Strawinsky’s Suite Italienne (1932) – performed here in the version for cello and orchestra – also recycles baroque inspiration, but not for any nostalgic purpose: for Strawinsky, the Suite heralds the new order of neo-classicism which was to determine his work ever after.
Teaming up with the Winterthur Chamber Orchestra, cello icon Pieter Wispelwey tackles these works with fitting playfulness and the unrestrained refinement and sensuality which have become his trademarks.
This will be a welcome addition to the catalogue.
11Rococo Variations opus 33 Moderato assai quasi Andante
12Rococo Variations opus 33 Thema, Moderato simplice
13Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 1, Tempo della Thema
14Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 2, Tempo della Thema
15Rococo Variations opus 33 Cadenza
16Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 3, Andante
17Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 4, Allegro vivo
18Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 5, Andante grazioso
19Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 6, Allegro moderato
110Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 7, Andante sostenuto
111Rococo Variations opus 33 Variation 8 and Coda, Allegro moderato con anima
112Concerto in A Major Wq 172 Allegro
113Concerto in A Major Wq 172 Largo con sordini. Mesto
114Concerto in A Major Wq 172 Allegro Assai
115Suite Italienne Introduzione, Allegro moderato
116Suite Italienne Serenata, Larghetto
117Suite Italienne Aria, Allegro alla breve
118Suite Italienne Tarantella, Vivace
119Suite Italienne Minuetto
120Suite Italienne Finale, Molto vivace