Shostakovich, Britten Cello works (2008)

Shostakovich, Britten

Pieter Wispelwey, Sinfonietta Cracovia

Jurjen Hempel

This CD presents music composed by Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich, two striking personalities from recent 20th-century musical history, who were also united by an intimate friendship. Britten had admired the music of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) since the 1930s, and since that time he had been influenced by it. This was the area of Shostakovich's best known and most often performer symphony, the Fifth, written in 1937. It was composed amidst the worst terror of the Stalinist regime, the paranoia, the culture of spying and betrayal, the pogroms and mass executions. Strangely enough, both the public and the Soviet government considered this symphony a mystery. Shostakovich is working with double meanings in this work: behind a charming smile, a hideous tragedy is taking place. It is this very symphony which Britten quotes at the beginning of this Second suite in d minor (1967), as a gesture of solidarity and sympathy.

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Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1962 and grew up with his two younger brothers in Santpoort, where his parents still live. At the age of 19 he moved to Amsterdam and has remained in the same 17th century house on the Noordermarkt ever since. Pieter's diverse musical personality is rooted in the training he received-firstly from regular exposure from a very early age to his father's amateur string quartet when they rehearsed at the Wispelwey home, to lessons with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam followed by studies with Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in the UK. It was also Dicky Boeke who encouraged him to listen to as much music as possible but particularly sowed the seeds for his love of Renaissance music (Italian and English madrigalists!) and German Lied. These genres, particularly the performances of Dietrich Fischer Diskau, have been a constant source of inspiration for Pieter. In 1990 his first recording with Channel Classics, The Bach Cello Suites, was released to great acclaim and in 1992 he was the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is endowed upon the most promising young musician in the Netherlands; thus his path was secured to the busy and varied career he has today.

Pieter has always been at home on the modern cello with metal and/or gut strings as he is on the baroque 4 string and 5 string cello. Therefore he covers a repertoire from JS Bach to Elliott Carter drawing on a palett of sounds and colours available from his range of instruments, string set-ups and bows. Having grown up in an age and country where hearing period instruments was very much the norm for concert-goers, Pieter naturally developed his conviction that, in the right conditions, much 18th and 19th century music sounds far better on gut strings than on metal. However he is not a purist in the sense that if conditions are less than ideal (no fortepiano, too big a hall, too hot, too humid, too dry acoustically etc.) then he is more than happy to pick up his modern cello with metal strings (which therefor is quite often the case).

Recitals have always played a major part in Pieter's concert diary. As a recitalist with piano, he has all the main repertoire at his disposal which is always ready for performance, often at very short notice. He is not, and has never been, the type of soloist who tours the world with one or two recital programmes and a couple of concertos per season. On the contrary, a typical week in Pieter's life (if one can be said to exist) could well include the Bach suites, with perhaps 2 different recital programmes, a couple of concerto appearances with a student masterclass thrown in for good measure! He has appeared as recitalist all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London), Chatelet (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires) and Sydney Opera House. Future exciting engagements include Bach and Britten suites at the Lincoln Centre, New York and a return visit to the Edinburgh Festival.

Pieter has appeared with a variety of orchestras and ensembles both with and without conductors. Notable projects without conductors have been the touring and recording of the Schumann and Shostakovich cello concertos with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra has, without doubt, provided for Pieter the happiest and most satisfying musical collaborations of his career to date, not least due to the genius of leader and musical director, Richard Tognetti. He has also appeared, with conductor, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC symphony orchestra, the Russian National Symphony, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen to name but a few and has recorded with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Future engagements with orchestras include the Halle, the Japan Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Marc Minkowsky.

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Shostakovich, Britten Cello works (2008)

Shostakovich, Britten

Pieter Wispelwey, Sinfonietta Cracovia

    BBC Music Magazine

Late night sessions an a meticulous approach bring audio perfection in Britten and Shostakovitch (…) The sound engineers have succeeded fantastically in capturing the tricky balance between cello and orchestra in a life-like way. The bass drum, too, is absolutely terrifying and life-like in its presence, and there's amazing clarity in the Scherzo movement.' Award 2009 for "Technical Excellence in Recording".

    Philadelphia Inquirer

The most mature performance is Pieter Wispelwey's reading of Cello Concerto no. 1, which avoids histrionics and primary colors in a performance of great concentration and mastery, but doesn't illuminate the music's enigmas so much as present their full implications. (…)

    American Record Guide

Wispelwey is one of the deepest of contemporary cellists, and his performances get the most out of these pieces. His quiet, inevitable reading of the concerto, all of it with the same metronome marking, is different from everyone else's. The recorded sound is excellent, and the conductor brings out elements in the orchestra that I had never noticed before. (…)

    Classique Info

Cet album, de grande inspiration est encore une référence dans la discographie des partitions et montre encore que Pieter Wispelwey est un artiste absolument incontournable.

    Rondo

Britten: (...) die Selbstverständiglichkeit in der Phrasierung ist gewachsen, die innere Ruhe auch, Schon, auf diese Art älter zu werden.

    Www.opusklassiek.nl

Wispelwey maakt er een buitengewoon avontuurlijke reis door de diepe krochten van de menselijke ziel van, met fenomenale streekwisselingen en het juiste 'Fingerspitzengefühl', kleurrijk, van het heroïsche naar het dichterlijke, van het intuïtief manlijk krachtige naar bijna vrouwelijke tederheid, met die zo volbloedige sonoriteit in alle registers, ook in het pianissimo, die het spel van Wispelwey (hij speelt op een cello uit 1760 van de hand van Giovanni Battista Guadagnini) zozeer kenmerkt.

    Klassik.com

Der Cellist steigt mit der Palette seiner spieltechnischen Potenziale und Identifikationskraft in die dritte Suite für Cello solo von Benjamin Britten, op. 87. Alles was diese gewitzte neunsätzige Virtuosenstück an Überraschungen offeriert, wirbelnde russische Folklore, brillant-parodistische Einschübe, eloquente melodische Linien, kontrastvolles Fugenspiel und immer wieder Nachklänge auf das Bach-Spiel von Rostropovich, öffnet Wispelwey in einer differenzierten Klangwelt auf seinem wundervollen Guadagnini-Cello. Spieltechnisch wie musikalisch bleibt er dieser Fülle an überraschenden Wendungen keinen Deut schuldig.

    Luister 10

Twee wonderlijke werken geschreven in de herfst van het leven van de componisten. De ene grimmig en vol ironie, de ander doordrongen van een mildheid en de wijsheid van jaren. Wispelwey haalt alles uit de kast om het verhaal van deze lastige en vaan onderschatte derde Suite van Britten te vertellen. Dat Wispelwey dat kan is geen verrassing meer. Dat hij in het Celloconcert schitterende partij krijgt van Sinfonietta Cracovia wel. Het orkest spelt scherp, spits en waar nodig zalvend lyrisch. Toch blijft de belangrijkste redden om de cd aan te schaffen de prachtige nieuwe opname van Brittens Derde cellosuite.

    Volkskrant

Wispelwey, die deze stukken inmiddels door en door eigen heeft gemaakt, laat een doorleefd geluid horen, met groots uitgezongen, soms over elkaar heen vallende lijnen, bij wijlen afgewisseld met venijnige staccatotonen. In het concert wordt hij uitstekend gesteund door Jurjen Hempel en zijn Poolse stoottroepen, waaronder vooral de hoornbrigade uitblinkt.

    HVT

Muziek voor de wat meer gevordere amanteur van klassieke muziek. Of juist niet, Want beide componisten staan met beide benen in de 20ste eeuw. Muziek gaat overall dwars doorheen. Altijd!

    Opus Haute Définition

Pieter Wispelwey offre ici une remarquable vision du concerto de Chostakovitch, à la fois inspirée et porteuse d’une profondeur de ton que nombre de versions ultérieures n’ont pas, ni dans leurs discours, musicale, ni dans leur façon d’appréhender la partition. De même, la suite de Britten révèle son monde intérieur grâce au jeu savamment dosé de Wispelwey. In SACD en pur DSD qui hantera longtemps les esprits.

Shostakovich, Britten Cello works (2008)

Shostakovich, Britten

Pieter Wispelwey, Sinfonietta Cracovia

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Grimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer:Hein Dekker, Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Krakow Poland, Doopgezinde Kerk Deventer Holland 2008
Recording Software:Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

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25308: Shostakovich, Britten Cello works
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Tracks
1.
Concerto nr. 2 in G major for Cello and Orchestra, op. 126 - Largo
Shostakovich
00:14:05   Select quality & channels above
2.
Concerto nr. 2 in G major for Cello and Orchestra, op. 126 - Allegretto
Shostakovich
00:04:04   Select quality & channels above
3.
Concerto nr. 2 in G major for Cello and Orchestra, op. 126 - Allegretto
Shostakovich
00:16:28   Select quality & channels above
4.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Lento (introduzione)
Britten
00:03:05   Select quality & channels above
5.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Allegro (marcia)
Britten
00:01:51   Select quality & channels above
6.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - 6Con moto (canto)
Britten
00:01:11   Select quality & channels above
7.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Lento (barcarola)
Britten
00:02:28   Select quality & channels above
8.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Allegretto (dialogo)
Britten
00:01:54   Select quality & channels above
9.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Andante espressivo (fuga)
Britten
00:02:21   Select quality & channels above
10.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Fantastico (recitativo)
Britten
00:01:37   Select quality & channels above
11.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Presto (moto perpetuo)
Britten
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12.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Lento solenne (passacaglia)
Britten
00:05:53   Select quality & channels above
13.
Third Suite for Cello Solo, op. 87 - Molto semplice (three Russian folk songs and Requiem melody)
Britten
00:04:17   Select quality & channels above

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