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Cello Concertos
Dvorak, Herbert, Yo-Yo Ma
Cello Concertos
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Dvorák's Cello Concerto is quite simply the finest piece ever composed for cello and orchestra. Yo-Yo Ma's first performance was hampered by a sluggish, boring accompaniment from Lorin Maazel and the Berlin Philharmonic. T...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Dvorak, Herbert, Yo-Yo Ma, Masur, N.Y. Phil.
Title: Cello Concertos
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 12/5/1995
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Instruments, Strings, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646717325

Synopsis essential recording
Dvorák's Cello Concerto is quite simply the finest piece ever composed for cello and orchestra. Yo-Yo Ma's first performance was hampered by a sluggish, boring accompaniment from Lorin Maazel and the Berlin Philharmonic. This live recording featuring the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur has all of the excitement lacking in that first version but plenty of poetry as well, amply evident in the both the songful slow movement and rapt final minutes of the finale. The coupling is uniquely apt: Herbert's is the very concerto that inspired Dvorák to compose his own. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

Greatest recording of greatest concerto by greatest cellist
pval-guy | Davis, California United States | 11/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am familiar with a great many of the recordings of this, the greatest of cello concertos and perhaps the greatest of all concertos. My recordings go as far back as Feuermann, Piatigorsky, Janiegro, Du Pre, Fournier, Wallfisch, Rostropovich, Shafran, Helmerson, Churchro, Starker, and others, including Ma's first recording featuring the execrable conducting of Lorin Maazel. This recording is revelatory, in my mind the greatest of all. Ma's cello playing is simply beyond belief, touched by the deepest of understanding of Dvorak's sentiments that went into the construction of the concerto (read: the historical novel nevertheless based on fact "Dvorak in Love" for more explanation). The playing is so unbelievably sympathetic, tender, recondite - yet when called for, so utterly dramatic. The final notes - including the way he languishes at the end - is spellbinding -- you'll feel like cheering. I had no idea the cello could be played like this until I heard this recording. The conducting is very good, almost up to the standard that I think was set by Neemi Jarvi in his recording on Bis. And the New York Philharmonic players, particularly the soloists (listen to the cello/violin duet in the 3rd movement, and the flutists!) are extraordinary - I'm no fan of NYC, but this is audibly one incredible orchestra, much better than the Berlin Philharmonic on Ma's first recording. If you only own one, or own many, you should own this: one of the great Dvorak recordings of all time, a performance that reminds us that just when you think you know a classical work, someone like Yo-Yo Ma can come along and redefine it in a way that only makes you wait for more from him. Put on your headphones to appreciate the subtlety of every note, the vibratto and rubatto, and treasure this gorgeous masterpiece."
Favored Recording of Cello Dvorak/Herbert
rodboomboom | Dearborn, Michigan United States | 06/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Inspired by the concerto of cellist/composer Herbert, Dvoark composed this masterpiece from New York looking fondly homeward to Bohemia. With its oblique and multilayered harmonizations, the Dvorak Concerto in B Minor features what the composer learned from Herbert, that it is possible and even lovely, to have this instrument sing from its high flying passages on the upper range. It also features an exquisite horn solo as well, with wonderful support from flute and wind section.The later addition of the magnificent sixty measure coda was in honor of his sister-in-law Josefina.Although there are other worthy recordings such as Rostropovich and Casals, this new recording with Masur leading the NY Phil is supreme. Ma is passionate and gives magnificent inflection on the opening scales in octaves ending the first movement with great fanfare."
A Desert Island Disc
C. P. T. | WI USA | 09/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is stunningly beautiful. The mix is perfect, with the orchestra and cello complementing each other. Yo Yo Ma is surely one of the premier musicians of our time, classical or otherwise, and his passion for music shows through in the playing of this concerto. The story behind the music is Dvorak wrote this for his beloved sister-in-law, using a song of his that she loved for the basis of the second movement. He had nearly finished the piece when he got word that she had passed away. He then reworked the ending, making it a good-bye to her. Ma deftly shows us all the love and grief in this concerto."