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Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1; Sonata for Cello and Piano / Emmanuell Bertrand, cello; Pascal Amoyel, piano

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Moderato for Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 40b
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Written 25 years apart, the two masterpieces for cello by Shostakovich recorded here were represent very different periods in the composer's career. The audaciously insolent Cello Sonata of 1934 is contemporary with Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District - the opera soon to plunge Shostakovich into disgrace with Stalin. It is paired with the bitter and self-questioning Cello Concerto No.1 from 1959, a work by a traumatized humorist who had long since learned not to laugh. Soloist Emmanuelle Bertrand is joined by pianist Pascal Amoyel for the sonata and by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales led by Pascal Rophé for the concerto.

BBC Music Magazine, May 2013
[Bertrand] wears the piece lightly, dancing rather than carving through it, with a silvery line that can be ghostly or piercing but never gruff... her bright, neat staccato is effective even if climaxes lack heft... The BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Pascal Rophe, however, really does dance on hot coals and give the requisite blast... [the Moderato in A minor] has a haunting poetry and one can hardly imagine it better played.

International Record Review, May 2013
In the Concerto, almost all of the playing is of intense musicality and virtuosity, which this highly original work demands...I feel that Bertrand does overdo at times the 'expressive' nature of her interpretation, but this observation is brought about solely because the rest of her performance is so impressive.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
This is a program with a message. They give us a curious and detailed look at what the composer went through. Listening to the performances, one finds an unusual concentration there as well. Bertrand is a sensitive cellist with an ability to contribute to what she hears around her. The concerto is performed with agility and a lively emphasis on moving along and creating surprising juxtapositions of moods. The sonata, on the other hand, is played with a quite different emphasis on lyricism and broad tempos, even in the wild madness of the finale, resulting in unusual clarity and unity of effort between pianist and cellist. In other words, it is a satisfyingly varied but beautifully unified approach to both works. I find these readings better than the average and an interesting juxtaposition of contrasted pieces.



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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
  • Performer: Emmanuelle Bertrand (Cello)
  • Conductor: Pascal Rophé
  • Ensemble: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
  • Notes: Composition written: 1959.
  • Running Time: 29 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1959

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40
  • Performers: Pascal Amoyel (Piano); Emmanuelle Bertrand (Cello)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1934.
  • Running Time: 29 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Moderato for Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 40b
  • Performers: Pascal Amoyel (Piano); Emmanuelle Bertrand (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934