Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In The Shadow of WAR

“Isserlis's spellbinding advocacy of Bridge's raptly compassionate masterpiece in particular has acquired an extra richness of experience and plangent intensity...both performances [the Hough and the Bloch] really are tremendously compelling in their articulate composure, nourishing intelligence and clear-sighted purpose.” --Gramophone Magazine, May 2013

“this profoundly engaging reading [of the Bridge] sets a new standard. [in Schelomo] nothing is forced or overdone, no rhetoric or posturing gets in the way of the work's own soulful expression...What he has achieved in this beautifully balanced recording with Hugh Wolff is a breathtaking new fluency and freedom.” --BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 *****

Steven Isserlis (cello)

This programme is well conceived and draws some truly moving playing. The coda to Bridge’s Oration makes a serious challenge for the title of ‘most beautiful ending to a cello concerto’ Isserlis.

Schelomo is an extraordinary work where Bloch seems to have created a new musical language inspired by Jewish music dating back thousands of years. Often mistaken for film music, Schelomo’s immediacy and descriptiveness has influenced many film composers.

Isserlis plays the ‘Marquis de Corberon’ Stradivarius of 1726, formerly owned by Zara Nelsova who was the first to record Bloch’s Schelomo with the composer conducting.

“Bloch’s famous Schelomo is given a superb performance, with Isserlis on inspired form. This is music that can seem overblown in the wrong hands, but here everything goes marvellously...This is an outstanding disc of glorious music, superbly played and recorded.” --MusicWeb International, 31st July 2013

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