Great Cellists - Casals - Dvorák: Cello Concerto; Brahms

Release Date: 3/20/2001
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8110930
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
One of the great treasures of the recording era is this 1937 document of the Dvorák concerto, in which soloist, young conductor, and orchestra come together as one unstoppable force in a truly exhilarating performance. (The one-day session that produced this recording was made the day after these musicians performed the same piece in a very warmly received concert in Prague.) It is an electric moment that we are lucky to have so easily accessible on disc. The Brahms, of course, is a classic as well--Pablo Casals propels the piece in his typically vigorous way, although Jacques Thibaud is a bit more shrill than we might prefer (though his lower registers are a bit warmer in the slow movement). Ultimately, it is Casals who carries the date. Casals' orchestra, conducted by Alfred Cortot, gets through the score but the ensemble lacks the dynamism necessary to make an effective partnership with the soloists.


Naxos' lure--aside from its appealingly low price--lies in Mark Obert-Thorn's terrific transfers. I am very happy to report that he is a judicious user of available technologies; he would rather have hiss than lose high-end frequencies. His good judgment is quite apparent in the 1929 Brahms, which never had good sonics, even for its time. The Dvorák has a much more open and clear sound. Run to get this one, if you haven't already.
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191 by Antonín Dvořák
Performer: Pablo Casals (Cello)
Conductor: George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1894-1895 ; USA
2. Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 "Double" by Johannes Brahms
Performer: Jacques Thibaud (Violin), Pablo Casals (Cello)
Conductor: Alfred Cortot
Orchestra/Ensemble: Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887 ; Austria
3. Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 "Double" by Johannes Brahms
Performer: Jacques Thibaud (Violin), Pablo Casals (Cello)
Conductor: Alfred Cortot
Orchestra/Ensemble: Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887 ; Austria
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