Vivaldi is greatly over-rated - a dull fellow who would compose the same form over many times. Such is the opinion of one of the great composers on the music of another great composer. Given the evidence of the present newly re-released complete Vivaldi cello concertos incredulity can be the only response to this assessment. But then Stravinsky was a man who voiced strong, often acerbic and sometimes outrageous opinions on virtually anything suggested to him. He had probably heard few, if any, of these cello concertos and irrespective would it have made any difference?
No-one has done more for the cello than Mstislav Rostropovich, or Slava as he was widely known. As well as being arguably the greatest cellist of the twentieth century, he expanded and enriched the cello repertoire by the sheer force of his artistry and his personality and composers lined up to write works for him.
The much-anticipated album from a brilliant young American cellist marks one of the most exciting Decca Classics debuts in many years. The conductor Daniel Barenboim has been a fervent supporter of Alisa Weilerstein’s extraordinary talent since he accompanied her in Elgar’s Concerto as part of the 2010 Europa Concert in Oxford, broadcast on TV across Europe. Together, they have made a recording of searing intensity.
…Do get this disc - it's not an easy listen for most of the time but it is rewarding and will appeal to anyone already wedded to the constituency of Bernstein, Bolcom and Schuman.
This is a quite extraordinary achievement. Not the least of its merits is that it leaves you loving the music as never before. The orchestra gives splendid support and the sound is warm and ingratiating.— Gramophone Magazine
Inspired by the personality, prodigious technique and musicality of the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Cello Concerto is a work of imposing scale and demanding virtuosity, but also with a rare beauty and warmth of expression. This live recording documents the first professional performances of the concerto in more than 80 years, and is paired with playful and virtuosic freely composed transcriptions for cello and piano of Mozart, Rossini and Ravel that Castelnuovo-Tedesco made for Piatigorsky and Heifetz.