Shostakovich Cello Concertos 1 + 2

Description

On this new Decca release, cellist Alisa Weilerstein is featured on Shostakovich’s thrilling Cello Concerti nos. 1 & 2 with conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

Label: Decca
Release: September 23, 2016

Reviews

“… Weilerstein brings a rare and combustible eloquence to a range of repertoire, and her new recording of the two Shostakovich concertos with conductor Pablo Heras-Casado is often powerful and even mesmerizing. (Weilerstein and Heras-Casado join forces with the San Francisco Symphony this week for the Schumann concerto.) The First Concerto gets an agile and athletic reading here, full of dark energy and crisp rhythms, but it also has a hectoring edge as well as the tonal rawness that is a Weilerstein trademark. The real glory of the disc is the Second Concerto, which is far less often performed but which emerges from this account as the quirkier, more profound and more original of the two works. Weilerstein and Heras-Casado make the broad first movement into an exquisitely personal rhapsody, at once introspective and urgent; the puckish feints and mood switches of the final movement sound surprisingly cogent.”

Joshua Kosman – San Francisco Chronicle

“… in this new recording with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Weilerstein and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado take the first movement just a little faster, and in so doing add significantly, and successfully, to the urgency of the music … Heras-Casado gets fully committed performances from the Bavarian orchestra and is clearly on the same wavelength as his soloist. Weilerstein’s intensity never lets up, and she makes every note count in the long cadenza …

Weilerstein’s performance of the Second Concerto is magnificent … Again, Heras-Casado and his players do their part, going all out in the massive orchestral tutti in the final movement. This long, complex, and richly expressive movement has never sounded more coherent or lingered in the memory so long afterwards. The recording quality is outstanding.”

Paul E. Robinson – Classical Voice America

“Masterly though Rostropovich’s recordings of Shostakovich’s cello concertos unquestionably are, his tendency to live through every note as though it might be his final utterance can feel overwrought at times. Alisa Weilerstein is no less physically propulsive and passionately committed, yet she imbues these scores with such a compelling sense of emotional narrative that it seems as though one were hearing the music for the first time … Pablo Heras-Casado and the Bavarian RSO follow her every inch of the way and the engineering strikes a balance between warmth and detail.”

Julian Haylock – The Strad

“Pablo Heras-Casado is accompanied by the fabulous Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra which is in every respect  lean and transparent, phrasing with the soloist in one breath. It has become a purification in the best sense of the word  that sheds new light on these two such important musical creations of the 20th century. A little bit of nostalgia and sense of romantic history form the beautiful finishing touch of the recording.”

{Pablo Heras-Casado begleitet mit dem in jeder Hinsicht fabulösen Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks schlank und transparent, phrasiert mit der Solistin in einem Atem. Es ist eine im besten Sinn des Wortes entschlackte Wiedergabe geworden, die diese beiden so wichtigen Tonschöpfungen des 20. Jahrhunderts neu strahlen lässt. Ein klein wenig Nostalgie und romantische Hintersinne bilden das schöne i-Tüpfelchen der Aufnahme.}

Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger – Online Merker

“Masterly though Rostropovich’s recordings of Shostakovich’s cello concertos unquestionably are, his tendency to live through every note as though it might be his final utterance can feel overwrought at times. Alisa Weilerstein is no less physically propulsive and passionately committed, yet she imbues these scores with such a compelling sense of emotional narrative that it seems as though one were hearing the music for the first time … In her mesmerising account of the Second Concerto, her ability to mine the music’s expressive core is striking. Pablo Heras-Casado and the Bavarian RSO follow her every inch of the way and the engineering strikes a balance between warmth and detail.”

The Strad

Pablo Heras-Casado is the Principal Guest Conductor of Teatro Real, Madrid, Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and records for Deutsche Grammophon & harmonia mundi, as well as a Global Ambassador of Ayuda en Acción.

   

Photos: Fernando Sancho