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Boccherini: Cello Concertos Vol 1 / Hugh, Halstead, Et Al


Release Date: 07/20/1999 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8553571   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Timothy Hugh
Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a winner of a disc, the first of a projected series covering all 12 of Boccherini’s cello concertos, beautifully performed on modern instruments but with concern for period practice and superbly recorded. One minor snag is a confusion over numbering. Naxos calls its first selection of works Nos. 1-4, whereas in Gramophone and on the Gramophone Database the new numbering above is used. What many collectors will be concerned about is the Boccherini Cello Concerto beloved of generations in Grutzmacher’s corrupt edition.

When many years ago I questioned Jacqueline du Pre about choosing it for her recording, she promptly justified herself, saying, ‘But the slow movement is so lovely.’ She was quite right, as her classic
Read more recording makes clear (EMI, 10/67), but that movement was transferred from another work, in fact No. 7 in G, one of the four works here. Tim Hugh’s dedicated account of this lovely G minor movement is a high spot of this issue, with rapt, hushed playing not just from the soloist but also from the excellent Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Anthony Halstead. It develops into a long cadenza, a sustained meditation lasting almost two minutes out of the six-and-a-half, and I should have liked to have it identified in the notes.

As it is, Hugh offers substantial cadenzas not just in the first movements of each work, but in slow movements and finales too, though none is as extended as the one in the G minor slow movement. Halstead, as a period specialist and a horn virtuoso as well as a conductor, matches his soloist in the dedication of these performances, clarifying textures (not least in the ripe horn parts, presumably played on natural instruments) and encouraging Hugh to choose speeds on the fast side, with easily flowing slow movements and outer movements which test the soloist’s virtuosity to the very limit, without sounding breathless.

The formula in all four works is similar, even though each has its individual delights, with strong, foursquare first movements, slow movements that sound rather Handelian and galloping finales in triple time. Not just for those who know only the old Grutzmacher concerto, all this will be a delightful discovery. And remember, there are two more issues to come.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [10/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello in C major, G 477 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Timothy Hugh (Cello)
Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
2. Concerto for Cello in D major, G 479 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Timothy Hugh (Cello)
Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
3. Concerto for Cello in G major, G 480 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Timothy Hugh (Cello)
Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
4. Concerto for Cello in C major, G 481 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Timothy Hugh (Cello)
Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 

Sound Samples

Cello Concerto in C major, G. 477: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in C major, G. 477: II. Largo
Cello Concerto in C major, G. 477: III. Allegro
Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479: III. Allegro
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: III. Allegro
Cello Concerto in C major, G. 481: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Concerto in C major, G. 481: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in C major, G. 481: III. Allegretto

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