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During the period 1961-1970 a total of 193 cello concertos were identified, of which 72 (37%) have been recorded and 121 appear to be unrecorded. From the start of the 1960s to the present day, the genre of cello concerto has bloomed. On average, 15 or more cello concertos have appeared per year, and there are more from this decade than in the timeline covering the whole of the 19th century. Of the unrecorded concertos, those by Wilfred Josephs and John Kinsella’s first are the ones I would most like to be able to hear.
Brian One of the composer’s most approachable late works in a fine performance from Raphael Wallfisch.
Dutilleux There is plenty of choice for his concerto subtitled Tout un monde lointain (A whole distant world), with Mstislav Rostropovich an obvious pick as coupled with Lutosławski (see below). For a modern recording Xavier Phillips in Seattle in 2012 is well worth hearing.
Ginastera His two cello concertos are among the finest of the second half of the twentieth century and Mark Kosower’s coupling of them both is fully equal to their challenges.
Jolivet His two fine concertos both date from this period and were soon recorded by André Navarra (first) and Mstislav Rostropovich (second) for Erato under the composer’s baton.
Knipper The Concerto monologue is a highly original work with brass and percussion accompaniment. Mstislav Rostropovich’s live performance was recorded in 1964 and is currently usefully on a single disc with Lopes-Graça (see below) and Weinberg’s concertos. Kokkonen His taut five-movement concerto receives an excellent performance from Torleif Thedéen in Lahti in the presence of the composer.
Linde A composer who died far too young and was a pupil of Lars-Erik Larsson. Maria Kliegel’s recording of his cello concerto makes for grateful listening.
Lopes-Graça A highly atmospheric work recorded live by Mstislav Rostropovich in Russia in the year after it was written.
LutosławskiMstislav Rostropovich’s rendition of this challenging aleatory work, often paired with his Dutilleux is the essential recording.
Martin In a work striking for its instrumentation, Quirine Viersen’s disc containing the substantial Ballade for cello and chamber orchestra as a filler seems the most desirable.
Rautavaara His first concerto is brief but rewarding and very well played by Marko Ylönen. RózsaPaul Watkins is a fine soloist in a work which is both lyrical and sprightly.
Boris Tchaikovsky This concerto borders on pastiche but a live performance by Mstislav Rostropovich is a roller coaster that is well worth hearing. Wood A powerful, brooding work in a single span evoking (and even briefly quoting) Elgar towards the end; Moray Welsh gives a fine performance.