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Britten: Cello Symphony; Cello Sonata; Cello Suites nos 1-3 / Alban Gerhardt, cello; Steven Osborne, piano

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Simple Symphony for Strings, Op. 4
>Britten, Benjamin : Sonata for cello & piano in C major, Op. 65
>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 1, Op. 72
>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 2, Op. 80
>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 3, Op. 87
>Britten, Benjamin : Tema "Sacher," for solo cello
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Dallas Morning News
Alban Gerhardt is a poet of the cello...

Britten's long friendship with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich was one of the most inspiring and fruitful musical collaborations in history. It led directly to the composition of some of the most important works for cello of the twentieth century. On this superb recording, Alban Gerhardt performs this body of works in its entirety. In the Cello Sonata he is partnered by Steven Osborne, whose Hyperion recording of Britten's Piano Concerto received a Gramophone Award. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Manze join Gerhardt for the Cello Symphony, Britten's only substantial piece of absolute symphonic music. The astonishing Suites for solo cello complete the set. These works acknowledge their debt to Bach but also demonstrate all the imagination and emotional scope for which the composer is revered.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2013
[Gerhardt] has a cool-headed precision Britten would probably have admired...Given Gerhardt's fine Britten credentials, this makes a recommendable package: performances are well judged, with clean-cut rhythms and good attention to detail.

Sunday Times, 27th January 2013
Gerhardt makes one of the strongest cases for [the Cello Symphony] on disc since the composer's own recording with the cellist. While his partnership with Osborne in the Sonata ...sparkles, he truly comes into his own in the solo suites, the most personal music here, inspired by the keynote works of Bach.

The Observer, 27th January 2013
This poetic, virtuosic player makes a powerful case for the three unaccompanied Cello Suites on the second disc. There's no shortage of recordings of these suites...but this is as good as any.

American Record Guide, May/June 2013
Benjamin Britten is most appreciated for his word-settings and his descriptive instrumental works. These give the imagination, both his and ours, something solid to hold onto. Gerhardt is a good man for the job. He plays with an attitude that blends with Britten. If you would like to have all of this music in one album, this is not only the only place to find it, but it is a good one as well. Still, I feel warmly towards these readings.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (03/10/2012-03/11/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (03/10/2012-03/11/2012); City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (2011-12-19&2011-12-22&2011-); Henry Wood Hall, London (2011-12-19&2011-12-22&2011-).



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Simple Symphony for Strings, Op. 4
  • Performer: Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Conductor: Andrew Manze
  • Ensemble: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow (03/10/2012-03/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1963

>Britten, Benjamin : Sonata for cello & piano in C major, Op. 65
  • Performers: Alban Gerhardt (Cello); Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1961

>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 1, Op. 72
  • Performer: Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/19/2011/12/22/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1964

>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 2, Op. 80
  • Performer: Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/19/2011/12/22/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Britten, Benjamin : Suite for solo cello no 3, Op. 87
  • Performer: Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/19/2011/12/22/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971

>Britten, Benjamin : Tema "Sacher," for solo cello
  • Performer: Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/19/2011/12/22/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1976