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Andreas Brantelid (cello)
Camille SAINT-SAňNS (1835-1921)
Cello Concerto No. 1 (1873) [19:55]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Variations on a Rococo Theme (1876) [18:31]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Cello Concerto [23:31]
Andreas Brantelid (1850) (cello)
Danish National Symphony Orchestra DR/Michael SchÝnwandt
rec. October 2007 (Tchaikovsky; Schumann); February 2008, Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

This very promising debut disc shines some deserved publicity on a rising star of the cello.† Andreas Brantelid was only 21 at the time of the recording sessions and, while he still has some maturing to do, this collection is a most auspicious start to his career. 

His choice of recordings is very shrewd: we might have balked at his hubris had he chosen to play the Elgar or DvořŠk concertos on a debut recital, but these works suit him very well.† He shows a very assured technique throughout and varies his approach to the demands of each work. An over-arching lyricism seems to be the main thrust of his approach. 

That is certainly true of the Rococo Variations where grace and elegance are the hallmarks of his style.† The theme is presented with unaffected poise and the chamber music textures of the orchestra allow him to shine through ideally.† The slower variations are most alluring, while the busier ones show off his quite remarkable passagework to great effect.† Itís also worth adding that the Danish National Symphony Orchestra provide an accompaniment which is entirely appropriate throughout: virtuosic when necessary, but never overtly showy.† Briefly put, the limelight is always on Brantelid, but never to the detriment of the music. 

The lyrical passages of the Schumann and Saint-SaŽns are also the most successful aspects.† One might perhaps wish for more stridency during the first subject of the Saint-SaŽnsí first movement, but the work moves at a good pace and the slow movement is very attractive.† The second movement of the Schumann is equally lovely and moves to an impressive finale where Brantelid accomplishes all the leaps with aplomb. 

A most impressive debut, then, and a very appealing disc for anyone who fancies the coupling.

Simon Thompson


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