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Timeline of cello concertos written during the period 1941-1960
During the period 1941-1960 a total of 104 cello concertos were identified, of which 64 (62%) have been recorded and 40 appear to be unrecorded. Only Walton’s and Shostakovich’s first concerto are very well-known but there are plenty of interesting recorded concertos dating from this period, as shown by the list of recommendations below. Perhaps the biggest surprise to appear in the unrecorded section is the concerto by Lars-Erik Larsson.
Barber Although this concerto is less immediately attractive than his violin concerto it has plenty of hidden depths, as played by Wendy Warner.
BrunClaudius Hermann is the cellist in a rewarding work from the same mould as the composer’s symphonies.
Englund Described by the reviewer as a “quiet masterpiece”, Jan-Erik Gustafsson gives a masterly performance of this important work.
Finzi One of the really great cello concertos, I first heard this through Yo Yo Ma’s youthful recording and I don’t think that has yet been bettered. GálAntonio Meneses does a fine job as part of the welcome recent rediscovery of this composer’s extensive output through recordings. Genzmer An unfamiliar composer to me but I greatly enjoyed Patrick Demenga’s performance of his first cello concerto.
Kabalevsky The composer’s characterful first concerto receives a telling performance from Yo Yo Ma. Khachaturian Plenty of choice here and I particularly like Daniel Müller-Schott’s rendition. Moeran Written for his cellist wife Peers Coetmore, Moeran’s concerto is one of his finest works. I prefer Raphael Wallfisch’s recording but both are well worth hearing. Murrill His second concerto Song of the Birds is brief but telling with Raphael Wallfisch as soloist. MyaskovskyMarina Tarasova is a fine soloist in this late work by the prolific Russian composer. Reiner An important wartime work from the Czech composer receiving its first recording from Sebastian Foron. Rodrigo His concierto en modo galante played by Asier Polo is winning and the disc also contains his second concerto from the early 1980s. SchoeckChristian Poltéra has the measure of this four movement work by the Swiss composer. Shostakovich There are many fine performances on disc but the dedicatee Mstislav Rostropovich takes the palm with his coupling of both concertos. WaltonGregor Piatigorsky made the first of many recordings now available and it is still a benchmark. Weinberg I share the reviewer’s enthusiasm for this work and Claes Gunnarsson’s strong performance.