C.P.E. Bach would undoubtedly rejoice, were he alive, upon hearing this album of his cello concertos by Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy under the direction of Bernard Labadie. From the opening notes, one cannot help but feel the orchestra is fantastic. The A major Cello Concerto begins with vigor and liveliness, with the ensemble playing perfectly together in tempo with great spirit. Mørk plays just as well, with a clean, accurate, and somewhat light touch.
The Cello Concerto No.1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761–1765 for longtime friend Joseph Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterhazy Orchestra. The work was presumed lost until 1961, when musicologist Oldrich Pulkert discovered a copy of the score at the Prague National Museum. Though some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the work, most experts believe that Haydn did compose this concerto.
Among his many famous and beloved concertos, Vivaldi wrote no fewer than twenty-seven for the cello an instrument that at the time was generally consigned to playing basso continuo. With the genuine virtuosi he had available to him at the Ospedale della Pietà, the Prete Rosso played a key role in the emancipation of the cello. On this new CD of Vivaldi concertos, acclaimed cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras is supported by the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in a fascinating program that is further enhanced by a selection of highly expressive Sinfonias by Antonio Caldara.
On Haydn & Mysliveček Cello Concertos, American cellist Wendy Warner, a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich, and Camerata Chicago, conducted by its British-born founder, Drostan Hall, present Franz Josef Haydn’s essential C Major and D Major Cello Concertos, harmoniously paired with a genuine rarity: the C Major Cello Concerto of Czech composer Josef Mysliveček (1737–1781), a Haydn contemporary.
Finzi completed his Cello Concerto for the Cheltenham Festival of 1955. He had long had a cello concerto in mind, and some of it already composed, when Sir John Barbirolli asked him for a major work; so the first performance was given by Christopher Bunting and The Hallé Orchestra under Barbirolli on 19 July 1955. Finzi wrote his Concerto for Small Orchestra and Solo Violin, his earliest extended instrumental work, between 1925 and 1927 when he was in his mid-twenties. Very much of its period, the Violin Concerto’s English amalgam of folksong pastoral and Bach constitutes an ‘arts and crafts’ ploy countering Stravinskyan neobaroque with a vernacular version (Bach was virtually an honorary Englishman at the time).
The Gemini Series features an impressive roster of singers, conductors, soloists, and ensembles of international renown, all from the incomparable EMI Classics stable. EMI's rich legacy of recording expertise comes to the fore in performances from the 1960s to the 1990s. Gemini titles are predominantly collections of single composers and fantastic value with well over an hour of music on each CD, making them the ideal place to start or develop a collection of classical music. Each 2-CD set contains over two hours of music for a fantastically low price. Attractively designed and packaged in space-saving brilliant boxes, each set includes three-language booklets with detailed notes on the music.