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Julius Klengel: A Celebration

Klengel / Wallfisch / Klengel
Release Date: 04/10/2012 
Label:  Cello Classics   Catalog #: 11024   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Julius KlengelBernhard CossmannDavid Popper
Performer:  Raphael WallfischJulius KlengelSarah ButcherSebastian Comberti,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cello Classics Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Klengel was one of the most important figures in the history of the cello.

Julius Klengel (1859-1933) was one of the most important figures in the history of the cello. He studied composition in his native Leipzig with Salomon Jadassohn (who taught Grieg and Delius) and whose own music has been recorded, very successfully, of late. Klengel made his debut at 17 whilst a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, whose ranks he had joined two years earlier. His pupils at the Leipzig Conservatoire included some of the most prominent players of the twentieth century: Feuermann, Suggia, Piatigorsky, Edmund Kurtz, Paul Grümmer and William Pleeth amongst them. He composed quite widely, and was the recipient of many dedications
Read more and gave many premieres. Reger was a particularly good colleague but he was a good friend of Brahms, as well as Taneyev amongst many others.
 
This celebratory disc intersperses some of Klengel’s own 78 discs between original compositions and adds up to a fine portrait. His Capriccio was written in 1905 and dedicated to his most flamboyant student, Guilhermina Suggia. It makes appropriately strong demands whilst basing itself strongly on the introduction of Schumann’s Op.121 Violin Sonata. There then follow some testing variations, and serious investigations of every aspect of left and right hand technique. No wonder it used to be a competition favourite.
 
Three Pieces for two cellos and organ was published in 1931. There’s a definite sense of poignancy as the two cellos entwine supported by the organ - and a strong element of spiritual sensitivity too, as well as quiet charm. The Little Suite is in five movements, Klengel ensuring the three cellist’s parts are cleverly distributed and not tangled up. There’s a coquettish Gavotte, a Borodin or maybe even Taneyev-like Largo and a confident Fughette to end. He goes one better in the Impromptu for four cellos, which opens as a hymnal affair but then bursts into the Wedding March most unexpectedly and most amusingly. The final piece is the poignant Hymnus, for twelve cellos, dedicated to the memory of the conductor Artur Nikisch at whose funeral it was played in 1922. It exemplifies his gift for beautiful part writing and rich romanticism.
 
Klengel’s own playing can be heard in four works - his portamenti are pervasive, often promoting pathos (as in the Tartini Adagio), rhythm solid, technique powerful (try the tricksy Crossmann Taranetlla) and reasonable tone. I wish the examples had been dated with full discographic details however. The Bach Sarabande is a fine performance and I know was recorded in 1927.
 
Raphael Wallfisch takes on the finger and wrist crunching challenges of the Capriccio on a theme of Schumann. His cellistic and other colleagues named in the head note and those in the twelve-strong Cello Classics Ensemble perform admirably and have been well recorded. The booklet is attractive. Maybe it’s time for some large-scale Klengel works to be recorded. How about his Double Concerto for starters?
 
-- Jonathan Woolf , MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Capriccio for cello on a theme of Schumann by Julius Klengel
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Date of Recording: 05/03/2011 
Venue:  St. Silas, London, England 
Length: 16 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Sarabande for cello (after Bach) by Julius Klengel
Performer:  Julius Klengel (Cello)
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3.
Pieces (3) for 2 cellos & organ by Julius Klengel
Performer:  Sarah Butcher (Cello), Sebastian Comberti (Cello), Martin Ennis (Organ)
Date of Recording: 09/22/2010 
Venue:  Girton College Chapel, Cambridge, Englan 
Length: 16 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4.
Adagio for cello (after Tartini) by Julius Klengel
Performer:  Julius Klengel (Cello)
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
5.
Tarantelle for cello by Bernhard Cossmann
Performer:  Julius Klengel (Cello)
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Impromptu for 4 cellos by Julius Klengel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cello Classics Ensemble
Date of Recording: 04/16/2009 
Venue:  St. Silas, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
7.
Mazurka by David Popper
Performer:  Julius Klengel (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
8.
Hymnus for 12 cellos, Op 57 by Julius Klengel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cello Classics Ensemble
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 04/16/2009 
Venue:  St. Silas, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
9.
Kleine Suite, for 3 cellos by Julius Klengel
Performer:  Joely Koos (Cello), Sarah Butcher (Cello), Sebastian Comberti (Cello)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 04/16/2009 
Venue:  St. Silas, London, England 
Length: 16 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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