Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

David POPPER (1843-1913)
Romantic Cello Favourites
Once upon more beautiful Days: In memory of my parents [3.35]
Gavotte (D minor) [2.04]
Mazurka[2.53]
Vito [4.15]
Fantasie über Kleinrussische Themen [11.03]
Begegnung [2.06]
Papillon [2.14]
Herbstblume [1.38]
Gnomentanz [3.19]
Spanischer Carneval [4.25]
Nocturne [4.41]
Gavotte (D Major) [4.17]
Chanson villageoise [2.39]
Wiegenlied [2.54]
Elfentanz [2.54]
Serenade [3.332]
Spinning Song [2.22]
Feuillet d’album [4.02]
Menuetto [2.33]
Tarantelle [4.59]
Janos Starker (cello)
Shigeo Neriki (piano)
rec Musical Arts Center, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 9-11 May 1988
DELOS DE 3065 [74.09]



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David Popper was a recognised cello virtuoso, as this generous collection of miniatures for the instrument demonstrates. The young violinist Kreisler heard him in 1905 when he was nearing the end of his playing career, and recognised the ‘vanished and heroic days of virtuosity’ in the elderly man’s playing, and found his improvised cadenzas remarkable. Regrettably there were no recordings, but his music was popular in recitals (‘the inevitable Popper’ as George Bernard Shaw would call it in his reviews) even if it struck fear into student cellists as they were made to tackle his book of studies for the instrument. By the time you have heard the twenty examples here, pretty well all that is possible on the cello has been demonstrated (double-stopped octaves Track 5, 06’40", headlong speed at dizzy heights Track 15, 00’ 30", combining virtuosic bowing and agile fingerwork in Track 17, 00’40"). They are all charming vignettes in a wide variety of pastiche styles from Gypsy music and French Album Leaves to a Spanish Tarantella and a German Lullaby.

Janos Starker, now approaching 80, but this recording is 15 years old, plays them all with admirable flexibility of style and response to colour, as well as bringing to the playing his impeccable virtuosity and musical artistry. He is true to the task in hand, for it is vital to take it all seriously, with no hint of cliché or parody, and given the impeccable ensemble and sensitivity of his pianist, Shigeo Neriki, the result is highly enjoyable from start to finish, and a must for cellists, of course.

Christopher Fifield



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