Berliner Philharmoniker: Wagner, Elgar, Brahms [Blu-ray]
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Barenboim, Elgar's cello concerto and Oxford lead invariably by association to Jacqueline du Pre and many music lovers judge fairly or unfairly, any performance of the concerto by her seminal audio recording with Barbirolli and the LSO in 1965. Also if you happen to have her "Portrait" dvd (filmed by Nupen), you would have a wonderful performance of the concerto played by her with the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by her then newly wedded husband Barenboim. More modern recordings that can be thoroughly recommended include one by Isserlis (1988) and another by Yo-Yo Ma (1985).
This concert is the young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein's debut with the BPO. Without a doubt she is a fast rising star, although she is more well known in the USA where she has played with many of the major American Orchestras, and she is also known for her involvement in chamber music.The concerto opens with a dramatic passage by the solo cello and from the first few bars one is captivated by the beautiful burnished tone that Alisa coaxes from her instrument ( beautifully recorded too).Flawless technique and an insightful reading of Elgar's nostalgic and introspective mood make for a very satisfying performance. In the short adagio 3rd. movement, I thought she was really superb, her cello singing the lyrical melody beautifully. The BPO is in top form and this recording can hold it's own against the best versions available, plus there's the bonus of a superior DTS Surround sound and extremely clear high definition video.Read more ›
Alisa Weilerstein is a young American cellist already being compared to Yo-Yo Ma, and is she ever terrific on this recording!
She attacks her instrument with relish, and is equally adept in the slow movement as in the other three faster movements, and uses quite a bit of portamenti (string slides) to great effect - always welcome in cello pieces.
Barenboim has the full measure of this piece, too, and should have, since he was married to cellist Jacqueline Du Pre, who put out the reference recording of this work with Barbirolli in the '60's.
I must confess I was getting a little tired of so many Barenboim dvd releases, since I've found some of his conducting performances a bit stodgy. Not so here. I was really impressed with his Brahms 1st. symphony on this disc, especially the last movement, which is the most exciting I've ever heard!
I got the blueray version, since I was able to buy it for $22!. The picture and sound are absolutely stunning, maybe the best I've encountered on any blueray release I own.
Try this disc. I bet you'll keep playing it again and again.
The concert takes place in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford University, with the Berlin Philharmoniker orch. Barenboim catches the pathos and poetry in Elgars Cello concerto. But young American Alisa Weilerstein, catches the sheer emotionalism in the slow movement, which can be overwhelming.She feels it. As if the music coming from her bow and her spirit were one.She has placed herself in a space beyond our comprehension. I sat and wept.Read more ›
The Wagner Prelude anticipates the Mastersingers' hymn with great horn playing, the Elgar Cello concerto is beautifully played by the young American cellist, Alisa Weilerstein, and the Brahms First Symphony is given a passionate rendition. Wonderful! A treasure!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Particularly enjoyed the Elgar. Believe the Brahms was presented without the verve that should be part of it, but, I think, the rendering was faithful to the score. Read morePublished 6 months ago by william mcgregor
It's getting hard to watch my old DVD quality classical music videos. The Blu ray video and DTS Master Audio make for an ideal musical experience. Read morePublished on April 19, 2014 by Fletch from the West
Not sure that I can add anything useful to the reviews already here. I just cannot believe there are only 5 reviews. Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by TexThai
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