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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great playing, great listening
This set has wonderful qualities on quite a few levels.

What you have here are clear modern renditions of pieces by some of the best known composing names of the last century, recorded in modern sound by one of my personal favorite cellists around today. Haimovitz always brings a very clearheaded yet informed approach to his readings (Not to mention daring- I...
Published on August 11, 2005 by Xyp

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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average playing, music of different quality
I purchased this set because I love cello and am interested in music of the 20th- century. I have also read good comments about the artist, Matt Haimovitz, a pupil of Leonard Rose.
I was very disappointed - not by the music selection, but by the performance. I have another Haimovitz's CD called 'Goulash' Matt Haimovitz: Goulash- despite this kitschy name, it is a...
Published on August 1, 2008 by Anton Zimmerling


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great playing, great listening, August 11, 2005
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Xyp (Cincinnati, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
This set has wonderful qualities on quite a few levels.

What you have here are clear modern renditions of pieces by some of the best known composing names of the last century, recorded in modern sound by one of my personal favorite cellists around today. Haimovitz always brings a very clearheaded yet informed approach to his readings (Not to mention daring- I highly recommend his readings of the Bach Solo Cello Suites) but I think what impresses me most of all here is his musicality and sense of structure. A few of these works could quite easily be reduced to meaningless gibberish by a lesser musician, but Haimovitz sails through them with assurance and style. He seems to have very clear ideas about the way things should sound... but moreover, he sounds like he's having fun, and it comes across.

I would highly recommend this set even at regular price, but for 3 CDs at midprice, it can't be beat.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable bargain, hard-to-find works, September 16, 2009
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Bartolo (New York City, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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The reviewer who gave this 3-disc set only 3 stars may be correct that, if you hunt around and spend $40-50, you might collect better performances of some of these works, but you certainly couldn't find all without an outlay of quite a bit more, necessarily for o/p items and rarities. I myself already own two versions of the Britten suites, a couple of definitive Kodaly sonatas, the Sessions, three Hindemiths and a so-so Britten sonata version. (Haimowitz is first-rate on this last)

But the price of this set is so good ($6 per CD!) that it was well worth duplications to have the others. By my lights the Debussy, Dutilleux, Reger, Davidovsky, Ligeti, Webern, Crumb, Harbison, Britten "Sacher," Henze and Perle are performed wonderfully, not only with virtuosity but passion when required.

The sound transcription is first-rate too: Deutsche Grammofon DDD engineering.

In short: one of the best finds I've made all year!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and a JOY, May 14, 2013
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This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
I have played cello for just over 25 years, while I am no longer able to compete, my ears are rather good and I was absolutely delighted to listen to these pieces.

I was actually late to work JUST listening. I dug out the nice headphones, went to quiet room, and JUST listened. First thing, the left hand of this cellist should be bronzed. Its perfect and its well taught, you can hear the fingers on the board which I like, others dont, fine by me. This means he at least knows the pieces to the degree of having physical memory. Which, given the physicality of the pieces and the instrument is critical. Right hand, GREAT, NOT as good as the left, but still phenomenal. An "average player" does not make that happen. This is a dedicated cellist who deserves respect.

As to the "reviews" stating that this is an average player, well thats false. These are freak difficult finger busters being handled with an artistry that makes me want to listen again. I am also surprised that the verbage of the other reviews does NOT even mention this....Thats a gap. ANY cellist worth their salt is going to have a jaw dropper on this alone. His usage of vibrato is perfect, pizz is again, NICE, I would enjoyed a bit more agression on the Crumb Sonata, BUT, thats more individual. IF the others who have reviewed this have even played a cello, I would be STUNNED to hear of any lack of passion in this playing.

As to the overall? This is a 5 star, and the price makes it a steal. The pieces here are also not so commonly released or recorded to the frequency of getting a bargain basement recording, ergo, I would not hesitate to buy it. This is a joy to listen to and a phenomenal artist has made it a treat.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average playing, music of different quality, August 1, 2008
This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
I purchased this set because I love cello and am interested in music of the 20th- century. I have also read good comments about the artist, Matt Haimovitz, a pupil of Leonard Rose.
I was very disappointed - not by the music selection, but by the performance. I have another Haimovitz's CD called 'Goulash' Matt Haimovitz: Goulash- despite this kitschy name, it is a good CD which proves that Matt Haimovitz is a nice young man who enjoys playing Bartok and folk-style arrangements. But here, in the 'The 20th-Century Cello', he got a strange idea that being modern means to play with little/no vibrato and an unpleasant scratchy sound. If this is true, I am against modern cello...
Turning to the programme: it is a mixed bag which contains both great and second-rate music. Kodaly's sonata for solo cello, op. 8, is a masterpiece, but I would not have said that if I knew only Haimovitz's version. Go to Pierre Fournier's great live performance (available on the Praga label Pr 50065 Kodály: Musique de chambre), Janos Starker or other less 'modern' and more exciting cellists. Max Reger's classicist suite Op.131C is a very vivid and bright thing (try Emanuel Feuermann on Opus Kura, if you are not afraid of vintage sound Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata; Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata), but Haimovitz managed to make it dry and unappealing. If you are a fan of Britten's chamber music, buy his three cello suites with Truls Mork (Truls MÝrk ~ Britten - Cello Suites 1-3); the first two ones, along with Britten's cello sonata, are available with Rostropovich/Britten on Decca. This performance adds nothing. Debussy's sonata is available in many good recordings, as well as Webern's Op. 11. As for the music commissioned by Rostropovich for Paul Sacher's jubilee (Britten, Berio, Dutilleux, Henze), it is earnest and admirable but difficult to love: I guess it is more interesting to play it than listen to. Finally, Ligety's cello sonata is an early piece, where the composer has not yet found his unique style. The rest of the programme are less known compositions by Sessions, Harbison, Davidovsky and Perle. From these, I enjoyed John Harbison's cello suite - an energetic concise piece which is less pretencious than many other items in Matt Haimovitz's selection.
Buy this CD, if you collect rarities or have a special purpose. Otherwise, try its alternatives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuoso, December 1, 2009
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Chas (Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
The cellist's mastery seems to know no bounds. This is a superb collection of cello music extraordinarily executed by an exceptional virtuoso.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed., March 29, 2009
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This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
The 20th-Century Cello performed by Matt Haimovitz is a great way to wade into the waters of 20-century music. His technique and musicality are inspiring and the 3-CD collection of pieces is extensive and diverse. It is a great value and a great educational tool for aspiring cellists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to complain about, everything to admire, July 6, 2011
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This review is from: The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz (Audio CD)
I confess that I've not been caught up in the enthusiasm for Haimovitz. No more, count me an ardent fan. There is a distinct lyricism to these performances that is extraordinary
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The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz
The 20th-Century Cello - Matt Haimovitz by Benjamin Britten (Audio CD - 2005)
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