ELGAR; CARTER Cello Concertos

‘The new du Pré’ takes on Elgar’s valedictory Concerto

Author: 
Peter Dickinson
Elgar; Carter Cello Concertos

ELGAR; CARTER Cello Concertos – Weilerstein

  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
  • Kol Nidrei

It was brave of Weilerstein to sandwich Carter between Elgar and Bruch, but there are connections with Barenboim. He gave the first performance of the Carter with Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony in 2001 and, of course, he recorded the Elgar with du Pré.

The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein has been called the new du Pré and I can see why. Her Elgar is not as wayward as du Pré in the famous 1967 live performance with Barenboim and the Philadelphia Orchestra but it’s still remarkably impressive. Weilerstein’s first movement is more discursive than Tortelier with the LPO under Boult in 1973. The changing moods of the scherzo are perfectly caught; the Adagio is effective, with fewer portamentos than du Pré; and the last Lento in the finale makes an emotional climax.

The Carter Concerto comes from his productive final phase. The idiom is not as abrasive as his middle-period works but he still challenges the soloist. Weilerstein, who starts on her own, as in the Elgar, brings the same immaculate tonal control to bear. Carter said he aimed at ‘meaningful, personal ways of revealing the cello’s vast array of wonderful possibilities’. The soloist is mostly lyrical but the orchestra at times knocks the stuffing out of any sentimentality. The seven sections are continuous and the third one, marked giocoso, adds a touch of humour with some percussion.

The Bruch was written in Liverpool in 1881 when the composer was director of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. Bruch was a reactionary who didn’t like Liszt and Wagner but his Kol Nidrei is a fine vehicle for Weilerstein’s gorgeous tone. Her developing band of fans will devour this CD.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£64/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017