Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

This page lists all recordings of Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Dvorak & Martinu: Cello Concertos

Dvorak & Martinu: Cello Concertos


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Martinu:

Cello Concerto No. 1, H.196

third version


Since 2007, cellist Christian Poltéra has recorded a number of acclaimed discs for BIS, of less often heard concertos by composers such as Othmar Schoeck, Frank Martin and Samuel Barber, as well as contemporary classics including Henri Dutilleux’s ‘Toute un monde lointain…’. Across the world, reviewers have been bowled over by Poltéra’s effortless technique, but even more so by his communicative skills and beautiful sound, typically using adjectives such as ‘glowing’, ‘lyrical’, ‘ripe’ and ‘singing’. These are of course qualities that will enhance any repertoire, and here, on his latest disc, Poltéra has occasion to apply them to one of the truly great Romantic concertos. Antonín Dvořák once famously expressed the opinion that the cello was unsuitable as a solo instrument, going on to compose what was to become one of the most beautiful, as well as popular, concertos in the repertoire. Although the solo part is demanding, the work is by no means a bravura showpiece. Instead, the orchestra and soloist form an integral whole, something which is admirably brought out in the interaction between Poltéra and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Thomas Dausgaard. When he composed his First Cello Concerto, in 1930, Dvořák’s compatriot Bohuslav Martinů also wanted to create a work involving dialogue between soloist and orchestra. Inspired by the concerto grosso form of the baroque era, he wrote a first version for cello and chamber orchestra, which he revisited in 1939, expanding it for large orchestra. In 1955 he returned to the concerto once again to create a third and final version, which has become one of his most popular works.

“[Poltéra’s] big soloistic statements are strikingly ego-free, and these recordings of Czech concertos make the point…[in the Dvorak] he gives us seamless, breathless phrases, a clear sense of over-arching structure and plenty of vigour…[in the Martinu] the first movement explodes like a pack of fireworks; the second stands out for its lyrical intensity. It makes for a thrilling performance.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Cellist Christian Poltéra and conductor Thomas Dausgaard give Dvorak’s Cello Concerto a lusty warmth and spontaneity…but what sets this recording apart is this reading of Martinu’s Cello Concerto No. 1, a hugely appealing work far too rarely performed…Poltéra sustains its cantilenas with a glowing intensity that builds towards a monumental and profound cadenza…this reading stands beside the best” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 ****

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BIS - BIS2157

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Anja Thauer plays Dvorak, Reger & Francaix

Anja Thauer plays Dvorak, Reger & Francaix


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Zdeněk Mácal

Françaix:

Fantaisie pour violoncelle et piano

Jean Françaix (piano)

Reger:

Cello Suite No 3 in A minor, Op 131c No 3


Anja Thauer (cello)

In the year 2015 we should have been celebrating the seventieth birthdays of two uniquely talented women cellists who were both born in 1945, but instead we have been remembering a more tragic coincidence: in 1973, multiple sclerosis forced the English virtuoso Jacqueline du Pré to retire and her German colleague Anja Thauer committed suicide. At that stage Du Pré had already enjoyed almost a decade of fame, while Thauer was still building her career.

Anja Heidi Thauer was born on 3 July 1945 in the old Hanseatic port of Lübeck. She had her early music lessons in Braunschweig, some 160 miles to the south, and grew up in Erlangen, attending the Conservatory in nearby Nuremberg. Friends spoke of a lonely childhood and a strict, domineering, even exploitative mother. Anja played violin-and-cello duets with her mother in public at twelve, performed the Boccherini-Grützmacher B flat Concerto at her orchestral début in Baden-Baden, aged thirteen, and at fourteen entered Ludwig Hoelscher’s Stuttgart Hochschule masterclass: he was the leading German cellist, a somewhat old-fashioned player but a profound musician.

At fifteen she went to the Paris Conservatoire on a scholarship, to study with André Navarra, and also took a course at the École Normale. In 1962, against strong competition from 21 other Paris Conservatoire students, she won the Grand Prix. She was friends with the pianist Claude Françaix and her playing of the Fantaisie by Claude’s famous father Jean Françaix had so impressed the pianist-composer that he accompanied her in the final concert; his music became one of her strongest suits and she recorded the work some years later, coupling it with Reger’s Third Suite for solo cello. At this stage many fellow students thought her a better player than Du Pré, who studied briefly in Paris with Paul Tortelier around the same time.

In Prague in March 1968 she made the DG recording which makes up the rest of this reissue and for which she is best remembered, the Dvořák Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic under 32-year-old Zdeněk Mácal. It was a version praised by The Gramophone’s Trevor Harvey upon its first appearance, not only for Thauer’s expressive playing, but for the many felicities in Dvořák’s score so often overlooked in performances of the work. Thauer’s discography is far from large but it is mostly of top quality and these three interpretations are central to it.

Tully Potter provides the insightful liner notes for this release, marking the first international release on CD of Anja Thauer’s Deutsche Grammophon recordings.

“Unaccompanied cello music, even as agreeably consonant as this three-movement Reger Suite in A minor, is only bearable when it is superbly played. It is here, with fine tone and impeccable intonation. […] Anja Thauer is already among the elect as a cellist” Gramophone Magazine, August 1966 (Reger, Françaix)

“Anja Thauer is clearly an extremely gifted cellist both technically and in her character as an artist […] Zdeněk Mácal … contributes an accompaniment of real character and individuality. […] These two artists in collaboration give us an untraditional interpretation of the concerto in the very best sense of that adjuective; that is, they refuse to accept the way parts of it are conventionally played and give it as if they had never heard anyone else in it before… […] Miss Thauer’s technique is triumphant so the most difficult double-stopping at speed is perfectly tuned and completely assured.” Gramophone Magazine, January 1969

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4822181

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Dvorak: Cello Concerto and Dumky-Trio

Dvorak: Cello Concerto and Dumky-Trio


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Berliner Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 (B166) 'Dumky'

Emanuel Ax (piano), Young Uck Kim (violin)


Yo-Yo Ma (cello)

Sony musicforyou - 88875070892

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Dvořák & Schumann: Cello Concertos

Dvořák & Schumann: Cello Concertos


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Schumann:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129


Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

R.P.O & Leningrad, Adrian Boult & Rozhdestvensky

Alto - ALC1261

(CD)

$6.50

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Pierre Monteux a Amsterdam

Pierre Monteux a Amsterdam


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'

(played as a tribute to President Kennedy, assassinated two days earlier)

Berlioz:

Harold en Italie, Op. 16: Sérénade

Klaas Boon (viola)

Brahms:

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (extract)

Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)


Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Pierre Monteux

Tahra - TAH766/767

(CD)

$29.50

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Dvorak: Cello Concerto

Dvorak: Cello Concerto


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Four Songs, Op. 82: No. 1, ‘Leave Me Alone’

arr. Lenehan

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

Goin' Home

arr. Lenehan

Songs My Mother Taught Me, Op. 55 No. 4

arr. Grünfeld

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

Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor, Op. 46 No. 8


American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, described by BBC Music Magazine as “one of the most extraordinary” soloists of her generation, follows her critically acclaimed Decca debut recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with a vital new interpretation of Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, coupled with some of his best-known melodies.

Alisa Weilerstein’s all-Dvorák programme includes the haunting melody from his “New World” Symphony, popularly known as Going Home; his song Lasst mich allein, the beautiful Silent Woods and more…

Alisa Weilerstein joins forces with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and its Czech Music Director, Jiří Bělohlávek in a terrific and deeply authentic musical partnership. This radiant performance of the Cello Concerto was recorded in Prague’s Rudolfinum, where Dvorak himself conducted the Czech Philharmonic’s inaugural concert in 1896. Other works on the album recorded in the USA – Dvorak’s adopted second homeland –include Rondo in G minor, Songs My Mother Taught Me and Slavonic Dance No.8.

***

Alisa talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the recording here.

--

“Hers is an interpretation of passion. It is by no means heart-on-sleeve but, rather, it is distinguished by well-harnessed vigour and attack, susceptibility to the music’s lyrical heart...There is a spine-tingling thrill and generosity of feeling to this performance that make it irresistible.” The Telegraph, 15th May 2014 *****

“Weilerstein plays across the bar lines, stressing the fluidity and intimacy of the composer’s lyrical lines.” Financial Times, 31st May 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Concerto

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - August 2014

Decca - 4785705

(CD)

$14.00

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Dvorak & Schumann: Cello Concertos

Dvorak & Schumann: Cello Concertos


Casals:

El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the birds)

Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Schumann:

Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129


Pablo Ferrández (cello)

Stuttgart Philharmoniker, Radoslav Szulc

The young Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández has already been marked out for the very top of his profession with Diapason magazine in France saying "Pablo Ferrández will be one of the best cellists in the future - No: he already is" After winning the prestigious Prix Edmond de Rothschild at the 2013 Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad in Switzerland, he went on to record his concerto debut CD: Dvorak's masterpiece for the instrument, plus Schumann's intimate concerto from his last years. The exquisite 'Song of the Birds' ends the disc, a much loved traditional Catalan song during the years of the Spanish civil war, made popular by the great Pablo Casals.

“ardent, tonally penetrating and skilfully structured. Ferrández is unfailingly elegant in the Schumann Cello Concerto...El cant dels ocells is the most revealing of Ferrández's individual voice, and just what he is capable of in terms of sound, line, and dramatisation. A gem on this promising debut disc.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 ****

“He's a fine performer, with a warm tone and an impulsive, if refined, lyricism that makes him a natural interpreter for Schumann's concerto, with its melancholy elegance and flashes of mercurial wit.” The Guardian, 14th March 2014 ****

Onyx - ONYX4127

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Dvorak: Cello Concertos

Dvorak: Cello Concertos


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

with original ending

Four Songs, Op. 82: No. 1, ‘Leave Me Alone’

arranged for orchestra by B Leopold

Cello Concerto in A major, B10

revised and orchestrated by Günter Raphael


Hyperion is delighted to present the world’s best-loved cello concerto performed by one of the world’s best-loved cellists: national treasure Steven Isserlis. Isserlis has waited 40 years to record this pinnacle of the repertoire, and here with his regular collaborators, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, this long gestation has proved to be overwhelmingly fruitful. Isserlis writes of the concerto that ‘the power of its emotional journey, expressed with Dvorák’s characteristically folk-like simplicity and directness, offers an irresistible mix of the epic and the touchingly confessional’. The combination of emotional power and simplicity is also a feature of Isserlis’s playing, and part of what makes him such a consummate performer of this work.

This album puts Dvorák’s B minor cello concerto in context, including not only the original ending, but an orchestral version of the song Lasst mich allein which is quoted in the concerto’s second and third movements.

Isserlis has also recorded a version of Dvorák’s first cello concerto, a little-known work from the composer’s early period which he never orchestrated. This version (in what is almost definitely its premiere recording) is by German composer Günter Raphael, whose works were performed by Furtwängler among others, and is extensively rewritten from the composer’s original. To turn to Isserlis’s own words again: ‘Of course, it is not a masterpiece on the level of the later B minor concerto; but is it fair to lock up an older child just because their younger sibling is a genius? I love the A major concerto for the beauty of its melodies, for the freshness of its inspiration, for its typically rustic spirit—and for the sense of sheer joy that bubbles through the entire work.’

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“his performance recalls the reckless abandon of the youthful Jacqueline du Pré in the work’s most extrovert passages, albeit tempered with the wisdom of experience and musical maturity...abetted by magically fresh music-making from Harding’s MCO.” Sunday Times, 29th September 2013

“The death of [Dvorak's] sister-in-law prompted the rewriting of the last movement of the later concerto, played, as is the whole, with a passion that is thrillingly balletic.” The Independent, 29th September 2013 *****

“Isserlis is on spellbindingly eloquent form in an entrancingly poetic and urgently communicative reading that really does sound like it's being captured on the wing...Harding and the Mahler CO are with him every step of the way; theirs is a real, breathing collaboration...Don't miss this special release.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2013

“this performance is remarkably fine and the interaction between soloist and orchestra generates one of the most exciting ensemble performances of recent years. Steven Isserlis is inside the piece from the start...this is a performance to treasure for its beauty and commitment.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 *****

“How wonderful to hear a familiar work sounding so fresh and potent. Steven Isserlis's Dvořák anthology is revelatory, in so many ways. There's the sumptious orchestral playing from Daniel Harding's Mahler Chamber Orchestra...Isserlis is terrific – blending security with spontaneity, his quiet playing so eloquent.” The Arts Desk, 9th November 2013

“The overriding impressions I gained in listening to the concerto, right from the outset, were of a confident and majestic treatment of the music, from both orchestra and soloist...This may be a disc built around performances by Steven Isserlis, but I must confess that for me the most delightful track is the orchestrated version of Dvořák’s own Lied, “Lasst mich allein”.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 30th September 2013

Presto Disc of the Week

30th September 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - November 2013

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67917

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Special: $11.70

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Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 & Cello Concerto

Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 & Cello Concerto


Dvorak:

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Mario Brunello (cello)


A recording of two of Dvorak’s most loved works together on disc – the Symphony No.9 in E minor “From the New World” and his Cello Concerto in B minor.

These two works are not often paired together on recordings. They were recorded live during the 11/12 Santa Cecilia season.

Dvorak wrote the 9th symphony following a trip to America. It is imbued with the rhythms of native American immigrant folk music cast in the language of the 19th century romantic musical language. Antonio Pappano, born in America but working in the European tradition, sees this piece in new and fresh ways because of his own heritage. This is the first time Pappano has conducted the 9th symphony, although he has admired the work for years.

This will also be a rare recording of the first edition of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, completed in 1895 - before he accepted a few of the numerous changes suggested by his cellist friend Hanuš Wihan (to whom Dvorak dedicated the work), It is far less frequently heard and, according to Dmitry Markevitch (the respected Russian concert cellist, researcher, teacher and musicologist) “much more musical”.

Dvorak wrote the concerto towards the end of his highly productive stay in America – he was in New York for his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory. He was inspired after hearing the second cello concerto by Victor Herbert - a fellow teacher at the Conservatory – 1894. Up till then Dvorák had always refused, stating that the cello was a fine orchestral instrument but totally insufficient for a solo concerto.

The concerto smacks of the anticipatory pleasures that Dvorák felt at the prospect of returning home. It opens with a large-scale and dramatically powerful Allegro, before striking a more dreamy note in the Andante and culminating in a fast and furious finale with folk-like elements from Bohemia - a compositorial greeting from the New World to Dvorák's distant homeland.

It is performed by the renowned Italian cellist Mario Brunello. He won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986 – the first Italian to ever do so, and has been catching the attention of musical authorities, including Maestro Pappano, ever since. He tours in Europe, America & Japan, appearing with leading orchestras and conductors (eg Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniele Gatti and Valeri Gergiev).

“It is clear from the outset that melody is uppermost in Antonio Pappano's interpretation of the New World. The opening theme is phrased with great tenderness which makes the arrival of the louder, more dynamic material of the introduction a genuine shock. This balance of drama and lyricism makes for some compelling listening in all four movements. Where it falls down is in a slightly literal approach to development.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2013 ***

“[Brunello] plays with great spirit and no little poetry; and, if he is not the most commandingly articulate, tonally seductive or full-throated protagonist...he generates a personable rapport with Sir Antonio Pappano...it's easy to like a performance whose heart is always in the right place...The account of the New World boasts comparable virtues, being abundantly characterful, pliable and consistently involving” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

“Interpretively, Pappano takes nothing for granted in the New World, phrasing with purpose, eliciting vivid, expressive colours. The slow introduction is beautiful and affecting; in the body of the first movement, Pappano infuses the music with a rhythmic buoyancy along with the customary forward drive” MusicWeb International, 10th June 2013

“Never has the New World Symphony sounded less like a jaded old warhorse than in this vital, unfailingly musical account. Not even Pappano can prevent the finale seeming a letdown, but his élan, scrupulous dynamic control and attention to detail give delight.” Sunday Times, 2nd December 2012

Warner Classics - 9141022

(CD - 2 discs)

$19.00

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Dvorák & Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos

Dvorák & Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Saint-Saëns:

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


Warner Classics Masters - 6230782

(CD)

$9.50

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