Late

Music for Cello

35 posts in this topic

There's already a thread here for the Bach Cello Suites, and, expanding on the good recommendations there, I thought I'd solicit recommendations for music for cello in general. What music for cello (sonatas, concerti, unaccompanied, chamber ensemble, etc.) do you particularly like?

I'll start with a disc I'm listening to right now:

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This Tortelier recording really clicks for me. It doesn't try to be historically informed (at least to my ears), the harpsichord notwithstanding. The recorded sound from 1965 is superb.

Edited by Late

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I keep reaching for this one.

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Such magnificent music and great performances.

 

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A few Brit cello pieces.

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The Elgar concerto is an obvious choice but this new recording couples it with the lesser known, beautifully nocturnal Walton Concerto. You also get Holst's lovely 'Invocation' and a short solo suite by Imogen Holst, 'The Fall of the Leaf'.

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There's a feast of mid-20thC cello on this 2CD. I particularly like the Cello Symphony...would appeal to those who like late-Shostakovich (Britten and Shostakovich were mutual admirers).

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Oration is a very moving cello and orchestra piece, Bridge's reflection on the First World War.

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Another beautiful early 20thC concerto. 

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On a smaller scale, a wonderful collection of pieces. I've played this regularly for thirty odd years. 

All records illustrated are the ones I play. No idea where they stand in the 'who's best?' sweepstakes. There are often multiple alternatives. 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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20 hours ago, jazzbo said:

I keep reaching for this one.

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Such magnificent music and great performances.

 

Picked up an LP set of Janigro and Carlo Zecchi a while ago. Zecchi (a Busoni and Schnabel pupil) was one heck of a pianist. Also like Fournier and Schnabel, though it has sonic limitations:
 


 

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Shostakovich: Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra

Kodaly: Sonata for Cello Solo Opus 8 (The Kodaly has already been mentioned, but I thought I'd throw in another performance.)

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Second Bev's Elgar rec, and I'll throw in another probably obvious one -- Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C.

It, along with the Elgar and a feast of other cello music, are on the Jacqueline Du Pre EMI box set, which I wouldn't be without. 

 

Edited by papsrus

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A very nice series from recent years. I know British classical music excites little interest beyond these shores (not a complaint, we're quite happy to keep it to ourselves!) beyond a few pieces, but if you want something accessible but different:

British Works For Cello And Piano, Vol. 1   British Works for Cello & Piano, Vol. 2

British Works for Cello & Piano, Vol. 3British Works for Cello & Piano, Vol. 4

Don't be scared by all the sheep! 

I'm not a great John Tavener fan (way too 'mystical' and god-bothering for me) but this piece has becoming very popular over the years - one of those rare contemporary pieces to get a foothold into concert platforms:

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Engaging piece though I'm not sure this version exists any more. There have been other recordings (again unusual for a contemporary piece). 

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Tavener - used to see him in the supermarket ! :)

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

Tavener - used to see him in the supermarket ! :)

Don't believe it...angels used to deliver his groceries. 

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Don Quixote has some beautiful cello (and viola) up front. Wide range of recordings from over the years to choose from. 

And if you're up for something a bit more challenging:

Jonathan Harvey, Cello Concerto, Curve with plateaux, Sketches and Philia's dream

Won't pretend to be thoroughly au fait with this but every time I've listened it's made me want to come back again. 'Ricercare una Melodia' is particularly striking. 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Here are some of the cello recordings I like. Could have also included some things by Rostropovich and by Starker.

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In that same Zender series I like

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though some of the accompanying pieces may not be to everyone's taste (12-tone/serial)

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Great recommendations — thanks, and keep them coming! Some of the cellists listed above are entirely new to me. A few questions/comments:

Aldo Parisot — Is the Kodaly/Bach disc only available as a CD-R? Amazon gives me that impression. (Are you just as well off purchasing the mp3's?)

• Paul Watkins — Thanks for bringing him to my attention. Raphael Wallfisch has been making a parallel series of British music for cello (mostly reissued on Naxos) that I would recommend. Wallfisch's recordings on Nimbus are ... extensive.

Antonio Janigro — That Beethoven with Zecchi is really nice! I'm supposing it's not available digitally anywhere. Does anyone here have Janigro's Bach Suites on Doremi? Worth the investment? I'm kind of overloaded on versions of the Suites, but I'm always open to one more.

 

Three more recommended cellists to add to the list:

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György Déri — These are all works for solo cello. Look at that list of composers! When Ligeti is the most recognizable name (well, that'd be my guess), you know you're in for some surprises. Déri has an appealing dark sound (that I always look/listen for in cellists).

 

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• Esther Nyffenegger — Has anyone here heard, or heard of, the Swiss cellist Esther Nyffenegger? The (cheaply-titled) "Cello Jewels" is a 7-disc affordably-priced box set that contains standard sonata repertoire along with some lesser known works for cello and piano. Nyffenegger's Beethoven can stand alongside much more famous recordings with ease. Her Brahms, I'd say, is superior to many more familiar recordings. Nyffenegger studied with Casals around the same time that Jacqueline du Pré did, and while du Pré's star shone much more brightly, Nyffenegger quietly made excellent, and contemporaneous, recordings.

 

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• Wen-Sinn Yang — Piatti is to the cello what Paganini is to the violin. This is quite possibly the most virtuosic cello playing I have ever heard. Yang is an utterly flawless cellist, never playing out-of-tune, and always paying attention to the finest details of articulation and phrasing. I suspect that some listeners would find his playing somewhat calculated, and perhaps that's true, but one thing (I'd say) is also true: Yang isn't flashy, and his playing doesn't bear the sometimes off-putting qualities of the virtuoso. Yang has also recorded Kodaly, Cassado, and various other virtuoso works.

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Once more the haunting Elgar. But this time it´s the other composer´s concerto I´d like to recommend: Hans Gal:

Antonio Meneses, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Claudio Cruz: Elgar Cello Concerto, Hans Gal Cello Concerto op 67 (Avie)

 

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Ligeti-Sonata for solo cello, cello concerto

Ginastera-Cello Concerto No.2

Schnittke-Cello Concertos

Honegger-Cello concerto

Britten Cello Suites

Lutoslawski-Cello Concerto

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Excellent music, superb performances and as additional bonus a truly glorious audio quality ....

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