Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

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Russian Masterpieces for Cello and Orchestra

Russian Masterpieces for Cello and Orchestra


Shostakovich:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 for cello & orchestra (or cello & piano)

Nocturne for cello & small orchestra (or cello & piano), Op. 19 No. 4


Zuill Bailey, the dynamic and exhilarating American cellist, makes his Telarc debut with the release of Russian Masterpieces for Cello. The recording includes Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme Pezzo Capriccioso and Nocturne in D Minor Op. 19 No. 4, and Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 107. Zuill Bailey’s rare combination of compelling artistry, technical finesse and engaging personality have secured his place as one of the most sought-after cellists today. Bailey performs regularly with long-time duo partner, pianist Awadagin Pratt, as well as with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. He is also a member of the acclaimed Perlman-Schmidt-Bailey Trio, which also includes pianist Navah Perlman and violinist Giora Schmidt.

The voice of the cello is uniquely suited to the qualities of passion and melancholy that makes Russian music so provocative to listeners. Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations was written for the German-born cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. When Tchaikovsky left Russia for a lengthy stay in Western Europe, he gave Fitzenhagen a free hand in composition, which resulted in significant structural alterations to the piece. The cellist premiered his version of the Rococo Variations at a Moscow concert conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein in 1877. Tchaikovsky was displeased with the alterations, but later said, “The devil take it. Let it stay as it is.” The Fitzenhagen score is heard in Bailey’s rendition, and is considered an effective presentation of Tchaikovsky’s material.

Shostakovich wrote his first cello concerto in 1959 for the distinguished cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who had frequently performed Shostakovich’s Sonata for Cello and Piano with the composer at the piano. It was premiered in Leningrad with the Leningrad Philharmonic and Rostropovich. When Shostakovich gave his only public performance as a conductor in 1962, the Concerto appeared on the programme.

“Overall the programme balances nicely enough as a calling-card for the stylish… soloist. …Zuill Bailey plays with impressive technical mastery… He is unfazed by the taxing double-stopping Shostakovich frequently employs in the faster passages while finding commendable depth and solemnity in the slow movement.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

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Favourite Cello Concertos

Favourite Cello Concertos


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Israel Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

Waldesruhe (Silent woods) for cello and orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5

Orchestre de Paris, Semyon Bychkov

Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Haydn:

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Hob. VIIb:2 (Op. 101)

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Saint-Saëns:

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

Orchestre de Paris, Semyon Bychkov

Schumann:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

Wiener Philharmoniker, Leonard Bernstein

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Phiharmonic Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli


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Dvorak & Tchaikovsky: Works for Cello & Orchestra

Dvorak & Tchaikovsky: Works for Cello & Orchestra


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33


“There have been a number of outstanding recordings of the Dvorák Concerto since this DG record was made, but none to match it for the warmth of lyrical feeling, the sheer strength of personality of the cello playing and the distinction of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich. Any moments of romantic licence from the latter, who's obviously deeply in love with the music, are set against Karajan's overall grip on the proceedings. The orchestral playing is superb.
You've only to listen to the beautiful introduction of the secondary theme of the first movement by the principal horn to realise that the BPO is going to match its illustrious soloist in eloquence, while Rostropovich's many moments of poetic introspection never for a moment interfere with the sense of a spontaneous forward flow. The recording is as near perfect as any made by DG in that vintage analogue era. It gives the cello a highly realistic presence, and if the passionate fortissimo violins lose just a fraction in fullness, and there seems to be, comparably, just a slight loss of resonance in the bass, the sound picture has an impressively clear and vivid focus.
In the coupled Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Rostropovich uses the published score rather than the original version. However, he plays with such masterly Russian fervour and elegance that any criticism is disarmed. The music itself continually demonstrates Tchaikovsky's astonishing lyrical fecundity, as one tune leads to another, all growing organically from the charming 'rococo' theme. The recording is marvellously refined.
The description 'legendary' isn't a whit too strong for a disc of this calibre.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“two great musicians performing with complete sympathy for each other: Rostropovich on top form and Karajan an attentive partner” Gramophone Magazine (James Jolly)

“The intensity of lyrical feeling and the spontaneity of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich ensures the position of their DG disc at the top of the list of recommendations.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Presto Greatest Recordings

1960s

GGramophone Magazine

100 Greatest Recordings

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

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Leonard Rose plays Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven & Saint-Saëns

Leonard Rose plays Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven & Saint-Saëns


Beethoven:

Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2

Live performance, Stratford Summer Festival, Canada, 1969

with Eugene Istomin (piano)

Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69

Live broadcast, WQXR Radiostudio, New York, Presented by Robert Sherman, January, 1973

with Nadia Reisenberg (piano)

Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69 - Scherzo (Allegro molto)

Encore. Live broadcast, WQXR Radiostudio, New York, Presented by Robert Sherman, January, 1973

with Nadia Reisenberg (piano)

Brahms:

Cello Sonata No. 1 In E Minor, Op. 38

Live broadcast, WQXR Radiostudio, New York, Presented by Robert Sherman, January, 1973

with Nadia Reisenberg (piano)

Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Live performance, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, December 6, 1967

Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Charles Dutoit

Saint-Saëns:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

Live, Radiostudio Luxembourg, November 15, 1961

Radio Luxembourg Orchestra, Louis de Froment

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Live, Radiostudio Luxembourg, November 17, 1961

Radio Luxembourg Orchestra, Louis de Froment


Leonard Rose (cello)

Lynn Harrell wrote of Leonard Rose, his teacher, that he was “a perfect combination of the most remarkable virtuoso and caring and profoundly knowledgeable teacher”. Considered one of the greatest American cellists of the 20th century, Leonard Rose achieved prominence in practically every facet of music making. The material featured on this new DOREMI release is seeing the light of day for the first time.

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Jan Vogler plays Tchaikovsky

Jan Vogler plays Tchaikovsky


Tchaikovsky:

Sérénade Mélancolique for Violin & Orchestra in B minor, Op. 26

Jan Vogler (cello)

Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Jan Vogler (cello)

Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42: Méditation in D minor

Jan Vogler (cello)

Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70

Moritzburg Festival Ensemble


Inspired by a journey to Tchaikovsky’s hometown Saint Petersburg, Jan rediscovered some of his favorite pieces from the composer.

The famous Rococo Variations were written by Tchaikovsky for the cellist Wilhelm Fitzhagen who added some minor edits to make the work more playable. Jan recorded a new combination of the original with Fitzenhagen’s version.

Sérénade mélancolique and Souvenir d’un lieu cher are both originally works for violin and orchestra. For this recording, Jan arranged the cello parts himself and teamed up with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under their new Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

The vivacious “Souvenir de Florence” is Tchaikovsky’s only string sextet. Jan recorded this piece with musicians of the Moritzburg Festival, an excellent chamber music festival located in the Moritzburg castle near Dresden.

Jan Vogler’s distinguished career has seen him perform with renowned conductors and internationally acclaimed orchestras around the world. His strong classical foundation has allowed him to push the boundaries of his sound, creating an ongoing dialogue with contemporary composers and performers.

“Vogler and friends deliver an exciting account [of the Serenade for Strings], heightened by lean, wiry strings. The ebullient Allegro con spirit launches with gusto, while the Adagio cantabile sings. Vogler’s ensemble perform with great panache…[the Rococo Variations are given] a spruce account” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Vogler and Andres Orozco-Estrada wrest Tchaikovsky away from the Romantic interpretations and impose a cooler, more precise order” The Observer, 13th March 2016

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Transition: Works for Cello

Transition: Works for Cello


Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

arr. for cello and wind quintet

Glazunov:

Chant du Ménestrel, Op. 71

arr. for cello and wind quintet

Saint-Saëns:

Romance in F major, Op. 36

arr. for cello and wind quintet

Schumann:

Er, der Herrlichste von allem (No. 2 from Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42)

arr. for cello and wind quintet

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

arr. D. Stromberg for cello and wind quintet

Tchaikovsky:

Nocturne for cello & small orchestra (or cello & piano), Op. 19 No. 4

arr. for cello and wind quintet

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

arr. D. Stromberg for cello and wind quintet


David Stromberg (cello)

Philharmonisches Bläserquintett Hamburg

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Cello Masterpieces: Pierre Fournier Plays Lalo, Schumann & Tchaikovsky (Remastered 2015)

Cello Masterpieces: Pierre Fournier Plays Lalo, Schumann & Tchaikovsky (Remastered 2015)


Lalo:

Cello Concerto in D minor

Orchestre Lamoureux, Jean Martinon

Schumann:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

(cadenza by P Fournier)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Malcolm Sargent

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

(ed. W Fitzhagen)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Malcolm Sargent


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Paul Tortelier plays Elgar, Tchaikovsky & Dvorak

Paul Tortelier plays Elgar, Tchaikovsky & Dvorak


Dvorak:

Rondo in G minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 94, B. 181

Paul Tortelier (cello)

Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Paul Tortelier (cello)

Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Paul Tortelier (cello)


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Janos Starker plays Dvorák: Cello Concerto, Bruch and Tchaikovsky

Janos Starker plays Dvorák: Cello Concerto, Bruch and Tchaikovsky


Bruch:

Kol Nidrei, Op. 47

Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33


“Starker possessed a phenomenal technique. His bow attacked the strings with both a ravishing intensity and a deep, biting edge. He was equally startling to watch, his piercing black eyes glaring out from beneath deep black eyebrows.” The Telegraph

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Cello Masterpieces

Cello Masterpieces

Mstislav Rostropovich plays Prokofiev, Schumann & Tchaikovsky


Prokofiev:

Sinfonia Concertante in E minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 125

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Malcolm Sargent

Schumann:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Tchaikovsky:

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky


Remastered 2015

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