Let's talk about cello concertos

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IcedNote
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Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:44 pm

All throughout school, I'd say cello concertos didn't get a whole lot of love...neither from my professors nor fellow students. But surely there are masterpieces out there that stand with the great violin and piano concertos...right?

I have a few friends who are big, big fans of Barber's. Saint-Saens's in A Minor gets some mentions as well, but I don't hear people gush about it. Elgar's, too.

I also wonder why CPE Bach was writing them but, say, Mozart and Beethoven didn't. Anyone know? (Side note: I saw Isserlis perform CPE's A Maj with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra a couple of years ago, and it was staggeringly good.)

Curious,

-G
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THEHORN
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by THEHORN » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:32 pm

The Dvorak cello concerto has long been a beloved staple of the orchestral repertoire and for a good reason . It's indescribably beautiful . I'm also very fond of the Prokofiev Symphony Concertante for cello and orchestra and the two cello concertos of Shostakovich . The recording of the Prokofiev with Rostropovich and Sargent conducting on EMI is a must have . The cello concerto by Nikolai Myaskovsky is also a genuine masterpiece and deserves to be performed more often . Where are you Yo Yo Ma ?

Modernistfan
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:34 pm

You cannot forget the many concertos commissioned by or written for Mstislav Rostropovich, including the two concertos of Shostakovich, and the concertos of Lutoslawski, Penderecki, and Dutilleux, just to name a few. The Carter cello concerto, now championed by Alisa Weilerstein, written about 15 years ago, has already had three commercial recordings.

John F
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by John F » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:43 pm

For me, the Dvorak concerto is at the top of the list. Many others would make my list but I couldn't rank them. I'd include Brahms's double concerto, said to have been inspired by Dvorak's example of writing a large-scale Romantic work for solo cello.
John Francis

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:11 pm

Modernistfan wrote:You cannot forget the many concertos commissioned by or written for Mstislav Rostropovich, including the two concertos of Shostakovich, and the concertos of Lutoslawski, Penderecki, and Dutilleux, just to name a few. The Carter cello concerto, now championed by Alisa Weilerstein, written about 15 years ago, has already had three commercial recordings.
Yeah, I know of these and should revisit them. Would you hail any of them as masterpieces? (Sincere question; not trying to be combative.)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:12 pm

John F wrote:For me, the Dvorak concerto is at the top of the list. Many others would make my list but I couldn't rank them. I'd include Brahms's double concerto, said to have been inspired by Dvorak's example of writing a large-scale Romantic work for solo cello.
Well since you and THEHORN have called it out, I should give it another go. I'm not very fond of Dvorak, so perhaps I've overlooked this one.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jserraglio
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:57 pm

Less famous but worthy. I like Schumann best of the three.






maestrob
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by maestrob » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:43 am

Well, the Dvorak IS the most popular and most often performed (at a guess), but the Shostakovich two are for me better pieces, with such concentrated energy. At this level, it's really impossible to rank, since these are all great works, but here comes a list:

Dvorak
Shostakovich
Prokofiev (both versions)
Hindemith
Walton
Barber
Miaskovsky (a personal favorite)
Saint-Saens
Elgar
Haydn
Schumann
Brahms Double Concerto
Beethoven Triple Concerto (Piano, Violin & Cello)

Quiery: Do you want recommended recordings as well?

jserraglio
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:21 pm

The un-concerto but helluva work and performance.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKLX5D4Aq5g

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:55 pm

maestrob wrote:Beethoven Triple Concerto (Piano, Violin & Cello)
Surely you're joking, Mr. Maestro! What a dreadful work. Of course, it doesn't help that one of the worst performances of any piece I've ever seen was of that piece, so.... :mrgreen:

-G
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maestrob
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by maestrob » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:39 pm

Dreadful?????? Wow! :lol:

Try these, and then see what you think........ :D

Image

Image

karlhenning
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by karlhenning » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:52 am

maestrob wrote:Dreadful?????? Wow! :lol:

Try these, and then see what you think........ :D

Image
This was the recording which redeemed the piece for me!

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
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karlhenning
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by karlhenning » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:56 am

maestrob wrote:Well, the Dvorak IS the most popular and most often performed (at a guess), but the Shostakovich two are for me better pieces, with such concentrated energy. At this level, it's really impossible to rank, since these are all great works, but here comes a list:

Dvorak
Shostakovich
Prokofiev (both versions)
Hindemith
Walton
Barber
Miaskovsky (a personal favorite)
Saint-Saens
Elgar
Haydn
Schumann
Brahms Double Concerto
Beethoven Triple Concerto (Piano, Violin & Cello)

Quiery: Do you want recommended recordings as well?
A little surprised you don't mention the Weinberg ; )

The Haydn concerti deserve much more love than they are apt to be given.

Without at all finding fault with the original scoring, there is a wonderful "meeting of musical minds" in Shostakovich's re-orchestration of the accompaniment to the Schumann concerto.

The Prokofiev Symphony-Concerto is magnificent.

I may be the only one here to know the Wuorinen Concerto for Amplified Cello, but it's all y'all's loss, I tell yez.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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barney
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by barney » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:30 am

That's an excellent list. For me, too, the Dvorak tops the list, followed by Elgar, Haydn and Tchaikovsky's Roccoco Variations, in terms of the most played in my house. Shostakovich too.

The Beethoven triple with Richter, Oistrakh and Rostropovich is famous as an excellent rendition, surely, but also because the soloists hated working with Karajan, whom they regarded as monstrously vain and self-obsessed, and did not want it released. That story purportedly comes from Richter.

John F
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by John F » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:37 am

For me, the Dvorak concerto makes all others seem small - not just in length but in spirit. It stands to the cello repertoire as the Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos do to theirs. Other composers have written violin concertos on that scale - Bartok and Shostakovich, for example - but all the post-Dvorak cello concertos I know are half-sized. Well, there's one I've heard of that's said to be monstrously long, written by D.F. Tovey for Pablo Casals who gave the premiere, but I haven't heard it. But there it is on YouTube, an upload of the Symposium recording of the ill-sounding BBC broadcast.



P.S. I forgot Prokofiev's Symphony Concerto, which is certainly large in scale but not, I'd say, in spirit. There may be others I've overlooked too, of course.
Last edited by John F on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:18 pm

jserraglio wrote:The un-concerto but helluva work and performance.

That is one damn fine piece! I only knew some of Bloch's chamber music. Thanks!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Seán
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by Seán » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:48 pm

maestrob wrote:Well, the Dvorak IS the most popular and most often performed (at a guess), but the Shostakovich two are for me better pieces, with such concentrated energy. At this level, it's really impossible to rank, since these are all great works, but here comes a list:

Dvorak
Shostakovich
Prokofiev (both versions)
Hindemith
Walton
Barber
Miaskovsky (a personal favorite)
Saint-Saens
Elgar
Haydn
Schumann
Brahms Double Concerto
Beethoven Triple Concerto (Piano, Violin & Cello)

Quiery: Do you want recommended recordings as well?
Yes please Maestro.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

karlhenning
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by karlhenning » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:12 am

Dallapiccola's Dialoghi is a lovely concertante work for cello and orchestra, too.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
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maestrob
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by maestrob » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:12 pm

Seán wrote:
maestrob wrote:Well, the Dvorak IS the most popular and most often performed (at a guess), but the Shostakovich two are for me better pieces, with such concentrated energy. At this level, it's really impossible to rank, since these are all great works, but here comes a list:

Dvorak: Fournier/Szell (DGG)
Shostakovich: Rostropovich, of course. His premiere of I w/Ormandy is fantastic. II with Ozawa/Boston.
Prokofiev (both versions) Again, Rostropovich/Sargent coupled with the Miaskovsky. Original version, Steven Isserlis's recent CD is a standout.
Hindemith: Tortelier/BBC on Chandos
Walton: Isserlis, coupled with the Elgar: Paavo Jarvi, cond.
Barber/Britten: Yo-Yo Ma, Zinman/Baltimore
Miaskovsky (a personal favorite): Rostropovich (See Shostakovich above)
Saint-Saens: Truls Mork/Jarvi on Chandos
Elgar: Of course Du Pre/Barbirolli, coupled with Sea Pictures
Haydn; Du Pre
Schumann: Yo-Yo Ma
Brahms Double Concerto: Stern/Rose/Ormandy
Beethoven Triple Concerto (Piano, Violin & Cello): HVK/Rostropovich/Richter/Oistrakh

Quiery: Do you want recommended recordings as well?
Yes please Maestro.
Happy listening, Sean! :D

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:52 pm

John F wrote:For me, the Dvorak concerto makes all others seem small - not just in length but in spirit. It stands to the cello repertoire as the Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos do to theirs.
So I gave it a spin last night while following along with the score. Du Pre, Barenboim, CSO.

It left the same impression on me as, quite frankly, virtually all of Dvorak's oeuvre does -- middle-of-the-road tunes that are structured nicely but don't produce a lick of drama. I mean, yeah, he has big scale and diverse textures and whatnot, but I just don't get any inner turmoil/resolution from them. Oh well.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

John F
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by John F » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:17 pm

For me Dvorak's concerto and his music generally has just the qualities you say it doesn't, but so be it.
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IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:12 pm

John F wrote:For me Dvorak's concerto and his music generally has just the qualities you say it doesn't, but so be it.
Haha, yeah. The vast majority of Mozart's music also bores me to no end...so yeah... :mrgreen:

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

maestrob
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by maestrob » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:12 pm

IcedNote wrote:
John F wrote:For me Dvorak's concerto and his music generally has just the qualities you say it doesn't, but so be it.
Haha, yeah. The vast majority of Mozart's music also bores me to no end...so yeah... :mrgreen:

-G
Wow!

John F
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by John F » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:56 pm

Well, if drama and inner turmoil are what you require, I'll admit that Mozart provides less of it than, say, Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by jserraglio » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:34 pm

This one Nr. 1 — drama, inner turmoil, big-league size and spirit. Nr. 2 too.




IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:33 pm

John F wrote:Well, if drama and inner turmoil are what you require, I'll admit that Mozart provides less of it than, say, Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
YES! :mrgreen: You've inspired me to spin it right now. Kondrashin/Moscow Phil. 8)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by IcedNote » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:15 pm

jserraglio wrote:This one Nr. 1 — drama, inner turmoil, big-league size and spirit. Nr. 2 too.
Both are exceptional, no doubt. Just revisited the first one. So good!

-G
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diegobueno
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Re: Let's talk about cello concertos

Post by diegobueno » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:52 am

The Dvorak is certainly king of the cello concertos. I love the piece, though I think it takes him altogether too long to end it.

I'm really warming up to the Shostakovich concertos. The 1st is already standard rep. The 2nd is more conceptually more challenging, but very powerful. There's an episode with interruptions from a solo bass drum that makes me think of the last movement of Mahler's 10th (which was first performed in Deryck Cooke's version just a few years before Shostakovich wrote the concerto).

As for concertos for multiple soloists including cello, I'm rather partial to Tippett's Triple Concerto.

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