Magazine article Strings

Dvorak and Lalo Cello Concertos

Magazine article Strings

Dvorak and Lalo Cello Concertos

Article excerpt

Dvorak and Lalo Cello Concertos

Johannes Moser

(Pentatone)

Now for something entirely different, the only current, and perhaps the first-ever coupling of two diametrically opposed cello concertos.

Dvorak's heavily romantic Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, is a staple with more than 100 recordings. Edouard Lalo's flirtatiously Gallic Cello Concerto in D minor, once a staple but now languishing in semiobscurity, has fewer than 20. And yet, in performances of incomparable depth and magnitude, Johannes Moser, playing on a 1694 Andrea Guarneri, has forever changed the landscape. Aided and abetted by a marvelous Prague Philharmonia conducted by Jakub Hrusa, and a spectacular, warm recording from the Dutch Pentatone label, Moser's Dvorak arguably takes top honors with his dazzling virtuosity, free, passionate phrasing, and immense energy, resulting in a total command of the music's emotional power and narrative flow that recalls Pablo Casals' iconic 1937 recording with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by George Szell-in hi-res sound and with better intonation. …

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