Schelomo receives its mead of barbarous splendour at the hands of Nelsova and Abravanel. The recording is a shade too warm but Nelsova (who recorded far too little) who studied the piece with the composer demonstrates her familiarity and sympathy with the piece. This is essential as Schelomo is one of those works that can easily seem nondescript if the artists involved are unengaged. In that sense it is rather like the Bax cello concerto (still awaiting its ideal exponent on disc). This is Nelsova's second, recording of the work. The feverish grip of the music is strongly asserted.
This Swiss Cascavelle disc most adroitly presents the world premiere recording of the orchestral poem Helvetia alongside two less obscure works for viola and orchestra. A highly attractive release, well designed and documented. Enthusiasts of Bloch, the viola and the mountain heights must not miss this.
The music from the Baltic region in the latter half of the 17th century is characterized by fearless innovation and bubbling creativity. Here, a glimpse into the sacred solo-cantata and chamber music of this period is presented by bass-baritone Jakob Bloch Jespersen and Concerto Copenhagen under the direction of Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
Mstislav Rostropovich did more for the advancement of the cello than probably any other artist since Pablo Casals. Even after his sad passing in 2007 at the age of 80, is musical influence is felt not only in the cello community, but among orchestral musicians as well. This Deutsche Grammophon DVD is among the many tributes to Rostropovich that have surfaced over the short time since his passing. It features the Schumann Concerto and Bloch's Schelomo with Leonard Bernstein and the Orchestre National de France and Strauss' Don Quixote with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. All of these performances are given their first DVD release here. Schumann and Bloch are given intense, riveting performances by Rostropovich and orchestra alike. Any other cellist who played with as much force and aggression would be accused of overplaying, but with Rostropovich the intensity and conviction of his playing are what make the entire performance.
Alexandre Bloch, who has been Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lille since 2016, has chosen to devote a whole season of concerts to Mahler's symphonies. The Seventh (1904-05) is the most rarely recorded of the cycle unjustly, because this work later nicknamed Song of the Night testifies as clearly as its companions to the metaphysical grandiloquence that haunted Mahler during its gestation. From the gloomy Adagio of the first movement to the thundering Rondo that concludes the work, Alexandre Bloch and his orchestra lead us from the anguish of twilight to the ecstasies of dawn.