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Dvorak: Silent Woods / Christian Poltera, Kathryn Stott

Dvorak / Poltera / Stott
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1947  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian PolteraKathryn Stott
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: multi 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The chance to hear so many of the composer’s gems on the cello, played so well, is not to be missed. An ideal companion disc to the concerto.

Besides its gorgeous cover photo, this disc has three main attractions: Dvorák’s music, the comprehensiveness of the collection, and the cello playing of Christian Poltéra. None of them disappoint. We have here the usual Dvorák cello gold (Silent Woods, Rondo in G minor, the Polonaise), plus a number of arrangements by Poltéra himself: of the violin sonatina and four songs, including ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ and the ‘Song to the Moon’ from Rusalka.

The sonatina has been arranged for cello before by Oscar Hartwieg, and Maria Kliegel
Read more recorded that version for Naxos. Poltéra’s playing is preferable almost everywhere; he has the perfect light touch in the opening tune, for instance, compared to Kliegel’s heavier, dour treatment. He also sounds more playful and ‘American’ in the sonatina’s finale. Hartwieg’s transcription has Kliegel several octaves higher in the scherzo.

The shorter works are all delights, from the rarely-played Larghetto in G minor to Poltéra’s lovely arrangement of the ‘Song to the Moon.’ I had thought Silent Woods more or less impossible to play poorly, but Ramon Jaffe’s lack-lustre account on CPO increases my appreciation for Poltéra’s polish and dignified style. If the CD’s encore looks unfamiliar (“Lasst mich allein”), you will find, upon hearing it, that it is the song which Dvorák quotes in his great concerto, in memory of his beloved sister-in-law. Poltéra and pianist Kathryn Stott are as sensitive as ever in this touching finale.

Basically, if you love Dvorák, and you love good cello playing, acquire this. Poltéra is an admirable performer, Kathryn Stott is a good partner, and the chance to hear so many of the composer’s gems on this instrument, played so well, is not to be missed. This disc is an ideal companion to the legendary concerto.

-- Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Zigeunermelodien (7), Op. 55: no 4, Als die alte Mutter by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
2.
Lieder (4), Op. 82/B 157: no 1, Leave me alone by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Bohemia 
3.
In folk tone, Op. 73/B 146: no 1, Good night, my darling by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Bohemia 
4.
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Bohemia 
5.
Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 100/B 183 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
6.
Romantic Pieces (4) for Violin and Piano, Op. 75/B 150: no 4, Larghetto by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
7.
Polonaise for Cello and Piano in A major, B 94 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1879; Bohemia 
8.
Rondo for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 94 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Bohemia 
9.
From the Bohemian forest, Op. 68/B 133: no 5, Silent Woods by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Kathryn Stott (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Bohemia 

Featured Sound Samples

Sonatina for Violin & Piano: I. Allegro risoluto
From the Bohemian Forest: No 5: Silent Woods
Rusalka: Song to the Moon

Sound Samples

Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): I. Allegro risoluto
Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): II. Larghetto
Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): IV. Finale: Allegro
Rondo in G minor, Op. 94, B. 171
Klid (Silent Woods), Op. 68, No. 5, B. 173
Zigeunermelodien, Op. 55, B. 104: No. 4. Als die alte Mutter (Songs my Mother Taught Me) (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano)
In Folk Tone, Op. 73, B. 146 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): In Folk Tone, Op. 73, B. 146: No. 1. Dobru noc, ma mila (Good-night, my darling) (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano)
Polonaise in A major, B. 94
4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, B. 150 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): 4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, B. 150: No. 4. Larghetto (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano)
Rusalka, Op. 114, B. 203 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): Rusalka, Op. 114, B. 203, Act I: Mesicku na nebi hlubokem (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano)
4 Lieder, Op. 82, B. 157 (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano): 4 Lieder, Op. 82, B. 157: No. 1. Lasst mich allein (Leave Me Alone) (arr. C. Poltera for cello and piano)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Pure Beauty November 14, 2012 By D. Davis (Belgrade, MT) See All My Reviews "I have heard that the Czechs have a saying: "A day without Dvorak is like a day without sunshine." Well, these pieces bring the sunshine. They are warm, melodic, beautifully played and a real delight. The more I listen to them the more I like them." Report Abuse
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