Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dvorak, Hoelscher, Abendroth|
Cello Concerto in B Minor Op 104
Listen to Samples
Lacks real sensitivity and distinction
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 06/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What's frequently missing here is a deeper feeling for the kind of wondrous expressiveness and expansiveness that is at the heart of Dvorak's musical personality. This magnificent concerto brims with poetry, nostalgia and grandeur. And though there are moments of power and refinement, the team of Hoelscher and Abendroth fail to render full justice in the name of both. In some of his passages, Hoelscher occasionally displays choppiness. Additionally, I find a fair portion of his phrasing unattractive. As for Abendroth (a number of whose performances I've found quite satisfying), his orchestral climaxes don't deliver convincingly with the kind of cumulative power and release that so frequently typifies some of Dvorak's moving musical episodes. In some instances he moves too quickly, in others he treads with too heavy a foot. For greater eloquence and atmosphere and more impressive impact, I recommend any or all of the following: Fournier/Szell (DGG); Starker/Dorati (Mercury); Gendron/Haitink (Philips lp) and Harrell/Levine (RCA lp). The Gendron/Haitink appeared for a while on a French cd, though its sound did not approach the beautiful jewel-like clarity of the Philips lp (the Dutch pressing, not the American one). In any event, together, both soloist and conductor provide a superbly detailed, musically stimulating reading, which ranks as my favorite. The highlight of the Harrell/Levine account (superior, by the way, to Harrell's later effort with the Chicago Symphony) was the cellist's golden tone. Moreover, James Levine and the London Symphony gave what was often heroic and exciting orchestral support. If any of you still enjoy lps (as I do) you might want to go on an adventurous quest for the Gendron and/or Harrell recordings. Let me just add that if you find the Harrell/Levine on RCA, make sure it's the one with the little white (late) nipper on its label. The no dog issue that followed it does not have the clean, more involving sound of the earlier little nipper release. Good luck."