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Finzi: Cello Concerto, Clarinet Concerto / Ma, Denman, Handley

Release Date: 06/12/2007 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 236   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Yo-Yo MaJohn Denman
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic OrchestraNew Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Before he lost interest in classical music, at the very beginning of his career, Yo-Yo Ma made this outstanding recording of Finzi's magnificent Cello Concerto. It's still the finest available, though it faces strong competition from Naxos, offering without question the most dramatic and exciting account on disc of the first movement. This matters hugely, because the piece can hang fire if there isn't sufficient contrast between its first two parts. Ma plays magnificently: he's by turns impassioned and richly lyrical, and far less bland than he later became. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against his current preoccupation, "World Music", save for the fact that his Silk Road colleagues
Read more play that music so much better than he does. Well, here he is, fresh, young, and full of life. He never made a finer recording.

Clarinet soloist John Denman also plays his concerto with an extremely limpid, cantabile tone, and both here and in the Cello Concerto Vernon Handley offers his usual excellent work as accompanist. Handley's remake of the Cello Concerto for Chandos also was a big disappointment compared to his work here, not just interpretively but also sonically. These performances benefit further from Lyrita's by now legendary engineering at its very finest. Finzi may have been a minor master, but a master he certainly was, and this disc remains the best way not just to sample these two marvelous concertos, but to hear why Ma was such a promising young artist.

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

Concerto for Cello, Op. 40 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Concerto for Clarinet in C minor, Op. 31 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  John Denman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1949; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Cello Concerto: III. Adagio
Clarinet Concerto: I. Allegro vigoroso

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