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Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos

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Audio CD, October 30, 2012
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 1. Adagio - ModeratoStaatskapelle Berlin 7:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 2. Lento - Allegro moltoStaatskapelle Berlin 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 3. AdagioStaatskapelle Berlin 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 4. AllegroStaatskapelle Berlin11:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Carter: Cello Concerto - 1. DrammaticoStaatskapelle Berlin 1:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Carter: Cello Concerto - 2. Allegro AppassionatoStaatskapelle Berlin 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Carter: Cello Concerto - 3. GiocosoStaatskapelle Berlin 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Carter: Cello Concerto - 4. LentoStaatskapelle Berlin 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Carter: Cello Concerto - 5. MaestosoStaatskapelle Berlin 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Carter: Cello Concerto - 6. TranquilloStaatskapelle Berlin 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Carter: Cello Concerto - 7. Allegro FantasticoStaatskapelle Berlin 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Bruch: Kol Nidrei - Adagio For Cello, Opus 47Staatskapelle Berlin10:49$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Staatskapelle Berlin
  • Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
  • Composer: Sir Edward William Elgar, Elliott Carter
  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B009B82D48
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The much-anticipated album from the brilliant young American cellist marks one of the most exciting Decca Classics debuts in many years.

Doubly exciting is the participation of conductor Daniel Barenboim a fervent supporter of Alisa Weilersteins extraordinary talent since their 2010 Europa Concert in Oxford, in which Alisa Weilerstein gave a searing account of the Elgar Concerto.

Alisa Weilerstein is the first cellist for many years to play the Elgar Concerto with Daniel Barenboim, and his decision to record it with her is a major statement.

Elgars Concerto is brought together with a contemporary masterpiece Alisa Weilersteins homage to the doyen of American composers, centenarian Elliott Carter.

Already feted as one of todays top international soloists, Alisa Weilersteins career recently reached new critical heights, following the award of a Genius Grant by the MacArthur Foundation. In the citation it was stated: Alisa Weilerstein is a young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition . . . a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship.

Customer Reviews

The pairing of these concertos shows of her passion and virtuosity wonderfully.
Dr. C. Podolsky
Her work is supple, passionate and accurate even when the concerto's intensity tempts so many performers away from its daunting complexities.
Elgar Cello Concerto is a masterpiece and this CD with Weilerstein is the best thing since the Du Pre album.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Barnard on October 30, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Decca wants to turn its debut of Alisa Weilerstein into an occasion. No one has been able to erase memories of Jacqueline du Pre in the Elgar Cello Concerto; no doubt performers feel intimidated. The dominance of du Pre is realized when Amazon's editorial review tries to hype this recording by pointing out that du Pre's husband Daniel Barenboim hasn't touched the piece much without his wife. Could it be that a bit of the du Pre magic has continued with Barenboim?

The problem, of course, is that the magic was never Barenboim's. Weilerstein is left with the same mountain to climb as the rest of du Pre's successors. For Weilerstein, the best way to compete with du Pre is to try a completely different approach. Du Pre pushed forward with searing passion, baring her soul with no attempt to mask her feelings. While Weilerstein showcases Elgarian richness and melancholy, she is considerably more reserved. On the podium, Barenboim places less stress on grandeur, aiming to emphasize the work's dark undercurrent. He makes the Staatskapelle Berlin play from the bottom up. Both conductor and soloist seem to agree that reticence has its place. While they make the concerto have darker hues, the whole event ends up sounding less personal, sometimes mannered. There's little overt excitement. This hurts the 2nd movement the most, as Barenboim unwisely chooses to smooth out the sudden surprises near the opening, erasing all hushed anticipation. The rest of the concerto fares better, thankfully, with both interpreters seeming to understand Elgar's world. (There's not much restlessness, and melancholy doesn't become impatience). While there is much to admire about this recording, I miss the final thrust of inspiration.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joe Barron on December 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of interviewing the cellist Alisa Weilerstein prior to her appearance in Philadelphia, and she said that while concertos of the late romantic Elgar and the late modernist Elliott Carter are "diametrically opposed," it made sense to juxtapose them, for, as she said, "To understand where you're going, you have to know where you're coming from." The Elgar, she said, is a heartbreaking requiem for an age shattered by war, while the Carter is rhythmically angular, moving in fits and starts, yet full of wit and good humor. (Daniel Barenboim, who suggested the pairing, encouraged her to find the humor, telling her, "You can't play Carter between your teeth.") For me, the Cello Concerto is the most impressive and substantial of Mr. Carter's late orchestral works, and, among his solo concerti, second only to the Piano Concerto in its impact. Weilerstein finds the right expressive touch for both Carter and Elgar, as different as they might be. Her tone is warm, her attack sharp, and the Staatskapelle Berlin, conducted by Barenboim, plays with beauty and sensitivity. Most listeners will come to this disk for the Elgar and stay for the Carter. Some will approach it from the opposite direction, as I did, but everyone will find something here to admire.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Greg Barbero on November 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Alisa Weilerstein is quite outstanding amongst today's young generation of cellists. Apart from her superb authority and big bold tone, What I like about this disc is that each piece connects but is totally disparate. The Elgar has the Barenboim / Du Pre Connection - it is a huge compliment to weilerstein that Barenboim chose to record it for the first time since his late wife. Carter who sadly just died has always been one of Barenboim's chief enthusiasms and plays to weilerstein's American side. w
While this is no easy listen, ironically putting it between two romantic warhorses is the ideal way to appreciate its surprisingly lyrical possibilities, which Weilerstein exploits to the full; while the Bruch is of course a nod to both artists' Jewish background.
Playing and recording quality are outstanding - this is a seriously good disc.
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Format: Audio CD
Although I've heard Weilerstein in concert, my attention wasn't really caught until this CD, which introduces to a larger audience a remarkable talent. At age 30, the offspring of a prestigious musical couple (her father was first violinist of the Cleveland quartet), Weilerstein was performing with the Cleveland Orch. at age 13 and became the recipient of a prestigious "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 2011: Who could ask for a more auspicious entry into the majors? Everything here justifies such high expectations.

It's a two-edged sword for Barenboim to sponsor a charismatic female cellist, all but anointing her as the new du Pre - the press has already flung the title about. Always good at Elgar, barenboim scales down the accompaniment of the Cello Cto. to suit Weilerstein's approach, which doesn't mimic her great predecessor's. Du Pre was uninhibited, rhapsodic, and bursting with passion when she played - or one might say, overwhelmed - this music. Weilerstein manages to be just as captivating in a more restrained way, relying on natural musicality, a lovely tone, and supple phrasing that is probably closer to Elgar's ambiguous emotional world. On the surface, her interpretation may sound a touch underplayed, but having heard most of the recordings made since du Pre's heyday, I find Weilerstein's the most personal and affecting. Decca's close miking exaggerates the cello's prominence in the orchestral mix, but that's a quibble. Everything sounds natural and warm.

The majority of listeners might complain when the program continues with Carter's late Cello Cto., whose idiom could hardly fall farther from Elgar's.
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