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Elgar, Walton: Cello Concertos / Previn, Muller-Schott

Release Date: 06/27/2006 
Label:  Orfeo   Catalog #: 621061   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward ElgarSir William Walton
Performer:  Daniel Müller-Schott
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Cellist Daniel Müller-Schott and André Previn team up for an absolutely outstanding coupling of the two most important English cello concertos. Every recording of the Elgar inevitably will be compared with the storied Du Pré/Barbirolli version on EMI, an unquestionably great performance, but one that's also "beloved" for sentimental as well as purely musical reasons. Can it be that it sounds a touch dowdy now? For all her passion, Du Pré's grainy timbre and tendency to lunge at climaxes certainly leaves room for alternatives. One such came from Isserlis on Virgin, and here is another. Müller-Schott plays with consummate taste and extraordinary virtuosity. His
Read more well-controlled vibrato gives the lyrical climaxes in the first movement great intensity with no coarsening of tone, and his dexterity in the ensuing scherzo is little short of astonishing. The flowing tempo that he and Previn adopt in the slow movement offers tenderness without excessive sentimentality, and the robust finale provides the perfect, satisfying finish. Throughout (and in the Walton coupling) the playing of the Oslo Philharmonic is world-class, and the sonics are rich, natural, and well-balanced.

Walton's Cello Concerto, though frequently played and recorded, usually isn't viewed as being on par with his concertos for violin and viola. Its thematic substance is curiously elusive, and the episodic finale doesn't offer the kind of satisfying culmination one looks for in a virtuoso modern concerto (despite cyclical recurrence of earlier material). This performance, though, makes as powerful a case for the piece as anyone ever has. Previn's credentials as a Walton conductor of course are beyond question, but credit also is due to Müller-Schott for capturing the work's bittersweet lyricism with impressive completeness. The opening Moderato seldom has been shaped so cogently (keeping the music pressing forward certainly helps), and there's no attempt to find unity in the long finale where none exists. Müller-Schott and Previn simply play the living daylights out of it after breezing through the central scherzo with awesome virtuoso brilliance. It would be difficult to imagine a more impressive calling card for a sensational young cellist than this release. If you love these two works, you should certainly hear it.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Cello in E minor, Op. 85 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919; England 
Concerto for Cello by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956/1974; England 

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