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20th Century Works For Cello & Strings / Wallfisch, Et Al


Release Date: 03/11/2008 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5815   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Witold LutoslawskiDame Elizabeth MaconchyPaul HindemithMark Kopytman
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A miscellaneous anthology spanning styles and formats united by the instrumental specification.

This is quite a miscellaneous anthology spanning styles and formats but united by the cello and string orchestra specification.

It runs the gamut starting with the Lutos?awski Grave, with its grunting and grating earnestness of purpose, sombre melodic contours and peace-suffused epilogue. Maconchy studied with Holst and RVW. Her Epyllion was written deep in the atonal mists of the 1970s. I recall hearing it broadcast by Christopher van Kampen on BBC Radio 3 shortly after its premiere. It is for solo and fifteen strings - two more than the forces stipulated for the Lutos?awski. Epyllion means little epic. It is
Read more in a single crepuscular span in which the sounds of buzzing shimmer, bristle and shiver. This music sometimes has a Ravel-like patter contrasted with a rapid Bartókian angularity and an anxious neon glare. Hindemith's Trauermusilk was written at breakneck speed for the death of King George V but as most plausibly suggested by Calum Macdonald this piece may well have more to do with the then contemporary tragedy and outrage of politics in Germany. I could not see any explanation as to how this cello version of the work originally written for viola and orchestra came into being. Paul Patterson's concerto is in two movements. It is a passionate piece and at approaching 25 minutes is the longest work here. There is a chaste and otherworldly feel to the string writing which sounds vaguely Sibelian. Its overarching reticence is emphasised by the heated passion borne by the cello solo line. There is some lovely quasi-Dowland pizzicato in the second section at 1:41 onwards. This soon develops into a jerky rhythmic dance recalling RVW and Rozsa. It ends with writing and playing of slashing panache. Kopytman is a Russian-born Jew who came to live in Israel in 1971. Kaddish was written in Russia. It was initially for cello and piano. Kaddish is the prayer said as part of the mourning rituals. This one is not especially mournful - serious enough but it certainly has urgency, dance-like brio and brilliance.

The disc is supported by excellent liner-notes.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Metamorphoses by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; Poland 
2.
Epyllion by Dame Elizabeth Maconchy
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
3.
Trauermusik for Viola and Strings by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Germany 
4.
Concerto for Cello by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
5.
Kaddish by Mark Kopytman
Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Conductor:  William Boughton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1966, orch 1982 

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