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The Very Best of Paul Tortelier from the EMI Catalog [2 CDs]

Audio Samples

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello no 1 in G, BWV 1007
>     1. Prélude
>     2. Allemande
>     3. Courante
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 3 no 9/RV 230
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Concerto for Cello no 2 in D, Hob. 7b
>     2
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Cello no 4 in C, Op. 102 no 1
>     2. Adagio - Tempo d'andante - Allegro vivace
>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello no 2 in F, Op. 99
>     4. Allegro molto
>Strauss, Richard : Don Quixote, Op. 35
>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello
>     1. Adagio - Moderato
>     2. Lento - Allegro molto
>Walton, William : Concerto for Cello
>     1. Moderato
>Paganini, Niccolò : Introduction and Variations from Rossini's Mosè "Dal tuo stellato soglio"
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Songs (14), Op. 34
>Karjinsky, Nikolas : Esquisses for cello & piano
>Ravel, Maurice : Pièce en forme de Habañera
>Sarasate, Pablo de : Spanish Dances (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 23
>Nin, Joaquin : Granadina
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Allegro appassionato for Cello and Piano in B minor, Op. 43
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Samson et Dalila
>     Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix
>Tortelier, Paul [Cello] : Miniatures (3) for 2 cellos
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello no 1 in G, BWV 1007
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 3 no 9/RV 230
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Concerto for Cello no 2 in D, Hob. 7b
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Cello no 4 in C, Op. 102 no 1
>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello no 2 in F, Op. 99
>Strauss, Richard : Don Quixote, Op. 35
>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello
>Walton, William : Concerto for Cello
>Paganini, Niccolò : Introduction and Variations from Rossini's Mosè "Dal tuo stellato soglio"
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Songs (14), Op. 34
>Karjinsky, Nikolas : Esquisses for cello & piano
>Ravel, Maurice : Pièce en forme de Habañera
>Sarasate, Pablo de : Spanish Dances (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 23
>Nin, Joaquin : Granadina
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Allegro appassionato for Cello and Piano in B minor, Op. 43
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Samson et Dalila
>Tortelier, Paul [Cello] : Miniatures (3) for 2 cellos
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
Performers Conductors Ensemble
  • >
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Paul Tortelier had the lean, ascetic look of an El Greco saint, yet possessed the turbulent idealism of Don Quixote, whom he portrayed so memorably in Richard Strauss's tone poem. Tortelier was born in Paris in 1914, months before the outbreak of the Great War. Though the family knew poverty, it was his mother's dream that her son should be a cellist. He started to learn the instrument at the age of six and at 12 he entered the Paris Conservatoire where he won several prizes before leaving at 16 to play freelance in cafés and cinemas in the days of silent films. A year later he made his professional debut playing Lalo's Concerto at the Concerts Lamoureux. In 1935 he went to the Monte-Carlo Orchestra as principal cellist and two years later played Don Quixote under Strauss's own direction. He began his solo career in 1938 in Boston, but this was interrupted by the war, during which he remained in Paris. In 1947 he played Don Quixote in Beecham's Richard Strauss festival in London to great acclaim. This effectively relaunched his international career and he went on to become one of the world's most distinguished cellists. He died suddenly in 1990 at the age of 76.

Bach's solo Cello Suites were always an integral part of Tortelier's repertoire and CD 1 opens with the first three movements of Suite No.1 in G. Following this is another Baroque work, the Cello Concerto in D by Vivaldi, in which Tortelier also directs the English Chamber Orchestra. Next comes the finale from Haydn's Cello Concerto No.2 in D recorded with Jörg Faerber conducting the Wurtemburg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn. We then hear movements from Beethoven's Cello Sonata No.4 in C with the French pianist Eric Heidsieck, and Brahms's Cello Sonata No.2 in F in which the pianist is Tortelier's daughter, Maria de la Pau. The CD ends with Tortelier's third EMI recording of his signature work, Don Quixote by Richard Strauss with the Staatskapelle Dresden under Rudolf Kempe.

CD 2 begins with the first two movements of another of the works central to Tortelier's repertoire, Elgar's Cello Concerto, a performance of which won him a prize while he was studying at the Paris Conservatoire. This is followed by an extract from the Walton Cello Concerto conducted by Paavo Berglund and then Paganini's variations on an operatic aria by Rossini to show off Tortelier's technical skill as a virtuoso of his instrument, this recording conducted by Tortelier's cellist wife, Maud Tortelier. Next comes a group of encore pieces, including the inevitable 'Flight of the Bumblebee' and 'Le Cygne', culminating in Three Miniatures for two cellos composed by Tortelier himself and played here with his wife Maud as the second cellist. The program finishes with a spirited performance of Tchaikovsky's 'Rococo' Variations with the Northern Sinfonia of England conducted by Tortelier's son Jan Pascal Tortelier.



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello no 1 in G, BWV 1007 :: 1. Prélude
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Temple Church, London (04/14/1982-04/17/1982); Temple Church, London (04/24/1982-04/26/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello no 1 in G, BWV 1007 :: 2. Allemande
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Temple Church, London (04/14/1982-04/17/1982); Temple Church, London (04/24/1982-04/26/1982)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello no 1 in G, BWV 1007 :: 3. Courante
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Temple Church, London (04/14/1982-04/17/1982); Temple Church, London (04/24/1982-04/26/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 3 no 9/RV 230
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Paul Tortelier
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/14/1973-10/15/1973); No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (12/03/1973)
  • Running Time: 9 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1711

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Concerto for Cello no 2 in D, Hob. 7b :: 2
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Jörg Faerber
  • Notes: Kreuzkirche, Heilbronn (07/06/1981-07/08/1981)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1783

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Cello no 4 in C, Op. 102 no 1 :: 2. Adagio - Tempo d'andante - Allegro vivace
  • Performers: Paul Tortelier (Cello); Eric Heidsieck (Piano)
  • Notes: Salle Wagram, Paris (02/25/1972-02/26/1972); Salle Wagram, Paris (03/01/1972-03/02/1972); Salle Wagram, Paris (07/15/1971-07/16/1971)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1815

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello no 2 in F, Op. 99 :: 4. Allegro molto
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/06/1977-10/12/1977)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Strauss, Richard : Don Quixote, Op. 35
  • Performers: Max Rostal (Viola); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Rudolf Kempe
  • Notes: Lukaskirche, Dresden (06/22/1973-06/29/1973)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1897

>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello :: 1. Adagio - Moderato
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Adrian Boult
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/29/1972-10/30/1972)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1919

>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello :: 2. Lento - Allegro molto
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Adrian Boult
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/29/1972-10/30/1972)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1919

>Walton, William : Concerto for Cello :: 1. Moderato
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Paavo Berglund
  • Notes: Guildhall, Southampton (01/07/1973-01/08/1973)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1956-1975

>Niccolò Paganini (Composer/Violin) (1782 - 1840) : Introduction and Variations from Rossini's Mosè "Dal tuo stellato soglio"
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Maud Tortelier
  • Running Time: 8 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1819

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/04/1975-10/05/1975)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Songs (14), Op. 34
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/04/1975-10/05/1975)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Karjinsky, Nikolas : Esquisses for cello & piano
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/04/1975-10/05/1975)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1928

>Ravel, Maurice : Pièce en forme de Habañera
  • Performers: Paul Tortelier (Cello); Shuku Iwasaki (Piano)
  • Notes: Setagaya Public Hall, Tokyo (01/16/1972-01/17/1972)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1907

>Sarasate, Pablo de : Spanish Dances (2) for Violin and Piano, Op. 23
  • Performers: Paul Tortelier (Cello); Shuku Iwasaki (Piano)
  • Notes: Setagaya Public Hall, Tokyo (01/16/1972-01/17/1972)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Nin, Joaquin : Granadina
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/04/1975-10/05/1975)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Carnival of the animals
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Salle Wagram, Paris (11/19/1979-11/20/1979)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Allegro appassionato for Cello and Piano in B minor, Op. 43
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Salle Wagram, Paris (11/19/1979-11/20/1979)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1875

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Samson et Dalila :: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix
  • Performers: Maria Pau (Piano); Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: Salle Wagram, Paris (11/19/1979-11/20/1979)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1859-1877

>Tortelier, Paul [Cello] : Miniatures (3) for 2 cellos
  • Performers: Paul Tortelier (Cello); Maud Tortelier (Cello)
  • Notes: No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (10/04/1975-10/05/1975)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1975

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
  • Performer: Paul Tortelier (Cello)
  • Conductor: Yan Tortelier
  • Running Time: 17 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876