We are delighted to announce the signing of one of the world’s greatest cellists, Pieter Wispelwey, who after many years on the Channel Classics label has decided to move to ONYX. In this outstanding recording of mid- 20th century cello music, Pieter makes his first recording of the great Walton Cello Concerto.
Pieter recorded the Walton in Australia in 2007 in several live concerts with the excellent Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the experienced baton of the British conductor Jeffrey Tate. This recording has been expertly edited from the live concerts (applause omitted). The rest of the recording was made in studio conditions in Holland.
The works for solo cello are cleverly interrelated and brings discoveries such as the Bloch Suite (written at exactly the same time as the Walton Concerto in 1957), the early Ligeti Sonata (1948-53) and two works written for Rostropovich: Britten’s Ciaconna from the 2nd suite and one of Walton’s own contributions to the ground bass form, the Passacaglia.
For the concerto Wispelwey plays his normal Guadagnini cello but for the solo cello works he was thrilled to be able to record on the great Magg Stradivarius from 1698.
Cello Concerto: I. Moderato
Cello Concerto: II. Allegro appassionato
Cello Concerto: III. Tema ed improvvisazioni
Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello: I. Prelude
Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello: II. Allegro
Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello: III. Canzona
Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello: IV. Allegro
Sonata for Solo Cello: I. Dialogo. Adagio, rubato, cantabile
Sonata for Solo Cello: II. Capriccio. Presto con slancio
Passacaglia for solo cello
Cello Suite No. 2, Op. 80: Ciaconna
“..his playing is flawless…”
“Walton's Cello Concerto is like a bottle of vintage wine from the composer's home on the Italian island of Ischia… its warmth, finesse and wry serenity are qualities that appeal all the more as time passes. Wispelway's cello playing, too, has a kind of seasoned timbre sound, at once mellow and concentrated, that suits the music to near-perfection. This concert performance... is alive at every point, and has an excellent orchestral contribution (the playing of the principal oboist is a lustrous phenomenon). Wispelway's selection of solo cello works on the rest of the CD, too, is so finely played that monotony is never risked for a moment.”
23rd March 2009
“Walton's Cello Concerto is alive with magical brilliance.”
14th March 2009
“The ethereal orchestral opening gives way to a meandering cello line that takes time to find its direction. But Wispelwey's idiosyncratic virtuosity finds the convincing thread. The maudlin chords of the Bloch Suite for solo cello make a seamless follow-on, with Ligeti and Britten thoughtful 20th-century companions.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.