Magazine article Strings

20-CD Anthology Spotlights Great Postwar French Cellist

Magazine article Strings

20-CD Anthology Spotlights Great Postwar French Cellist

Article excerpt

20-CD Anthology Spotlights Great Postwar French Cellist

Paul Tortelier: The Great EMI Recordings Booklet with complete track list and session details, and a 15-page essay by TuIIy Potter. (EMI)

Paul Tortelier's EMI recordings offer much to be admired

COMING TO GRIPS with the French cellist Paul Tortelier in the 1950s and '60s was a necessary rite of passage for adventurous young cellists. His recordings made important statements about post-Casals cello styles and signaled the major role the cello would play in the coming growth of the classical music industry. He had a huge technique, which conquered all in its path; as a performer he wore his soul proudly, charismatically, and eloquently on his sleeve.

This 20-CD box set - which includes a booklet with complete track listing and session details, and a 15-page essay by Tully Potter - gathers in one impressive anthology the celebrated EMI recordings of a world-class string player who remains virtually unknown in the United States.

There were many iconic aspects to Tortelier's life and career: He pioneered the angled endpin that Rostropovich later adopted. He spent a year on a kibbutz in Israel when tensions mounted in the Middle East in the mid-'50s. He was the "other cellist" on the fabled Prades Festival recording of Schubert's C major Quintet with Stern, Schneider, Katims, and Casals. As a matter of conscience, he refused to play in the United States for 30 years during the Cold War. …

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