Review: PENTATONE Dvořák & Lalo Cello Concertos

08 September 2015

Johannes Moser, Jakub Hrůša, Antonín Dvořák, Édouard Lalo, PENTATONE, PKF - Prague Philharmonia, Dvorak & Lalo - Cello Concertos

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Johannes Moser’s interpretation of the Dvořák & Lalo Cello Concertos reaches heroic heights with the PKF - Prague Philharmonia conducted by Jakub Hrůša in the latest PENTATONE release. Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists”, the German-Canadian international soloist Johannes Moser recently signed an exclusive recording contract with PENTATONE.


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Superb and resplendent sounds of Johannes Moser are intriguing to listen to. Equally fascinating is the programme combination itself. To hear these two particular works in succession is a treat: The first is a beautiful blend of longing and tenderness derived from the tail-end of Antonin Dvořák’s increasingly homesick American experience, composed between 1894-5 in the USA, devoid of any of the Americanness found in his Symphony 'From the New World' or his 'American' Quartet. It perfectly unites the soloistic playing of Johannes Moser together with the detailed orchestral sounds of the PKF - Prague Philharmonia. The second, Édouard Lalo’s 1876 Cello Concerto coming from the decade that can be described as the prime of Lalo’s fame, is often overlooked in favour of his Symphonie Espagnole, although the Cello Concerto definitely seems to possess more substance and strength. It opens in a dark mood, wandering between major and minor and its forward urgency gives it an exciting character. This Lalo masterpiece can be said to be associated with an important new direction that began to take shape in French music at the time, mirroring the works of Lalo’s contemporaries César Franck and Camille Saint-Saens. The fact that this almost-forgotten beauty is paired together with one of the most often performed cello concertos results in the perfect opportunity to rediscover the brilliance of the Spanish-tinged concerto.

According to Johannes Moser: “The unifying motif between these two Cello Concertos is a sense of yearning: From America, Dvořák yearned for his homeland and an unfulfilled love, whereas Lalo yearned for the typically Spanish flair and the Mediterranean temperament”.

Rachel Deloughry
Photo: copyright Sarah Wijzenbeek


In the video below we can see Johannes Moser during the recording session discussing the original manuscript with conductor Jakub Hrůša and producer Job Maarse.

Discussion

Simon Eder posted 1 year ago

A truly incredible album, I am listening to it daily!

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Simon Eder posted 1 year ago

"The recorded sound is, like the playing, absolutely top-notch." Also Gramophone Magazine is fully convinced.

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posted 1 year ago

Just listened and indeed really impressive!

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