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- Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: CD de audio
5 Stars to the seller who did his part, but this recording was lackluster. Please read my critique below:
Once in a lavender moon when all the stars are aligned the music world is blessed with a creation of an opus that sends shivers down my spine, drop me to my knees, and paralyze me. Such opuses include Bach's cello suite # 1 and, of course, lovely Ludwig Van's 9th. And then along comes Dvorak's cello concerto, a piece so sublime that it's in a class of its own against its competition. In the class of classical music there is always a runner up within striking distance. For example, one can argue that the greatest symphony is Beethoven's 9th, and a close second is his 3rd, or Mozart's 41st, or Tchaikovsky's 6th, or Brahms' 4th, or Dvorak's & Schubert's 9th. The greatest violin concerto, in my humble opinion, is Tchaikovsky, followed closely by Sibelius and Beethoven; the greatest piano concerto is Beethoven's 5th, and a close 2nd is Brahms' 2nd, or Mozart's 20th, or Tchaikovsky's 1st, or Schumann's 1st; the greatest opera is Wagner's Ring Cycle, then a close 2nd is Mozart's Don Giovanni, and so forth and so on. In all of these genres there is arguably a close 2nd, except for Dvorak's opus 104 wherein nothing is even in the same hemisphere--not even Elgar's cello concerto. Case and point: The richness in harmony and melody in Elgar's cello solo can't compare to Dvoraks, and even if the cello was eliminated altogether, Dvorak's piece would be one of the great symphonies whereas Elgar's would be a mere after though. Even Bach and Beethoven would have raised an eyebrow or two if they were lucky enough to have heard this piece.
As for the recordings, I was an audiophile who spent an exorbitant amount of money on a stereo system obsessed with trying to capture the sound of live music so I can say that I have ears for good clean, clear, and pure live sound. Having said that, I own 7 CD's of this sublime piece; my favorites--or lack there of--are as follows:
1.) Fournier/ Szell a la Berlin Philharmonic &
1.) Du Pre/ Barenboim a la Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2.) Du Pre/ Celibidache a la Swedish Radio Symphony
3.) Rostropovich/ Giulini a la London Philharmonic
4.) Rostropovich/ Karajan a la Berlin Philharmonic
5.) Ma/ Maazel a la Berlin Philharmonic (did not like)
6.) Starker/ Dorati a la London Symphony (loathed)
The best recording in terms of clean, clear, dynamic, transparent, and richness in sound is Fournier/ Szell. One can argue that Du Pre , Rostropovich, Karajan, or Dorati performed better against their counterparts, but the Fournier/ Szell recording clearly stands above the rest. It's like hearing a Stradivarius playing side by side to an orchestra cello when matched with the other recordings. Fournier and Szell performed almost perfectly. There are parts of the Dvorak cello concerto that should not be rushed and should be patiently absorbed so the one minor anomaly to this recording was the tempo which is a bit faster than all of the other recordings.
The best recording in terms of performance is Du Pre/ Barenboim. This was no surprise as the marriage of these 2 would produce something incomparable. The money shot , the part that penetrates my soul, is during the 6th or 7th minute of the solo performance of the 3rd movement. This is the solo part that separates the pros from the pretenders and Du Pre nailed it better than the rest. Her tone, tempo, passion, and precision is what separates her from her respective peers. I really wanted to like Rostropovich's performance but he sounds too mechanical and perfect for my taste, just like Karajan, who actually happens to be one of my favorite conductors. His performances also does not exude the passionate sound I hear from other cellists such as Du Pre or Ma. The Rostro/ Karajan recording reminds me of a Stepford wife who is perfect and predictable in every way, and although perfection can be great at times, it can also be monotonous.
The recording I mostly admire is Du Pre/ Celibidache because it was surprising to hear a no-name conductor conduct a no-name Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in a live recording stand toe-to-toe with the greats of Szell, Giulini, and Karajan. Of course Du Pre's marvelous and passionate performance helped a lot.
The best performance by a conductor is Giulini, followed within striking distance by Szell, then Karajan & Barenboim, then Ceilibidache. In all of these performances, the dynamics, tempo, melody, harmony, and precision were displayed so it was like splitting hair trying to measure who conducted better than whom. The easy assessment was analyzing which recordings didn't make the cut. I really wanted to like the Ma/ Maazel and Starker/ Dorati recordings but it just didn't happen. I saw Ma perform this concerto on Youtube and was amazed by his passion and skill but was greatly disappointed, mainly because Maazel's conducting was lackluster at best. As for the Starker/ Dorati recording, the performances by both were amateurish and the recording sound was mediocre. Don't waste your money on the Maazel or Dorati recordings because they were dismal--so much so that I actually gave away those CDs. Those who rated these 2 recordings 4 or 5 stars will be enlightened after hearing my top 4.