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The Cello in Wartime - Isserlis / Shih

The Cello in Wartime - Isserlis / Shih

BIS  BIS-2312

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


Debussy: Cello Sonata
Bridge: Cello Sonata
Faure: Cello Sonata No. 1
Webern: 3 Kleine Stucke
Saint-Seans: The Swan*
Parry: Jerusalem*
Novello: Keep the Home Fires Burning*
Trad.: God Save the King*

Steven Isserlis (cello & trench cello*)
Connie Shih (piano)

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Comment by Mark Werlin - October 16, 2017 (1 of 2)

Isserlis plays a 'trench cello' (W.E. Hill and Sons cello) on this BBC programme.

https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/world-war-one-cello-made-out-of-ammunition-box-stevenisserlis-jamiecoo

Comment by Mark Werlin - January 19, 2018 (2 of 2)

Very interesting differences of interpretation and cello timbre between the Isserlis and Brantelid recordings (Fauré: The Music for Cello & Piano - Brantelid / Forsberg) of the Sonata No. 1. Brantelid and Forsberg adopt a slower tempo, 20'37 versus 18'34 for Isserlis, and maintain a certain emotional distance in passages that Isserlis and Shih play with more dramatic emphasis. I'm open to both interpretative approaches, and value the appearance of these two recent performances. Bravo to Bissie for his persistence in making such fine chamber music available on SACD.

I can also recommend, for those interested in period instruments, the RBCD "L'Oeuvre pour violoncello et piano" on Zig-Zag Territoires, performed on an 1878 French cello and a 1902 Erard piano by Xavier Gagneplain and Jean-Michel Dayez.

It was drawn to my attention that recordings made with rare instruments of very high quality (and stratospherically high monetary value) lent by institutions or wealthy collectors don't reveal what a player sounds like when performing on a lesser instrument, one that they could actually afford to own! Isserlis recorded this SACD with a loaned 1726 Stradivarius; Brantelid with a loaned 1707 Stradivarius.