“Pieter Wispelwey… he does bring exceptional qualities to bear in a reading that has a profound sense of drama. …coupled with a splendid performance of the Symphonic Variations, this issue is a winner from many points of view.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2007 ****
“Here we have an outstanding version of Dvorák's Cello Concerto, one to rival any version in the catalogue and imaginatively coupled with the much earlier Symphonic Variations.
Pieter Wispelwey crowns his previous releases in this electrifying live recording, brilliantly accompanied by the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer.
It includes applause at the end of each performance, suggesting there is far less editing here than in many other live recordings. That ties in with the high-voltage performances, well recorded in atmospheric and finely detailed sound, with the soloist well balanced in the concerto.
Wispelwey's playing is marked by crisp attack and exceptionally clean articulation, and though he allows an easing for the transition into the great second-subject melody, as well as in the mysterious G sharp minor reference to it in the central development section, he keeps romantic freedom well in check.
The Wispelwey first movement climax is triumphant with the orchestra weighty in tuttis, while the slow movement finds the soloist flexible, with magical shading of pianissimi leading to the hushed close. The finale is crisp and clean, with some wonderfully ripe-sounding horns suggesting Viennese influence. The hushed epilogue is refined, leading to a powerful final cadence.
In the Symphonic Variations Fischer holds the structure cleanly together, crisply defining each of the 27 brief variations and the fugal finale. One marvels anew at Dvorák's inventive elaborations on a simple theme, on a par with the SlavonicDances. An outstanding disc.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“An outstanding cellist and a really wonderful musician” Gramophone Magazine