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Cello Concertos


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Cello Concerto In E Op. 85 - Adagio - Moderato
Cello Concerto In E Op. 85 - Lento - Allegro Molto
Cello Concerto In E Op. 85 - Adagio
Cello Concerto In E Op. 85 - Allegro - Moderato - Allegro Ma Non Troppo
Cello Concerto


THE PREPARATION Pieter Wispeiwey
Preparing these two concertos for a recording meant that I could study not only the scores but also the recordings of these pieces which had been conducted by the composers themselves. This was an obvious possibility for the Lutoslawski, but less so for the Elgar concerto, since Elgar’s own recording with Beatrice Harrison has only fairly recently become available. It was also fascinating to have an undeniably legitimate alternative to the legendary, inspiring Du Pr-Barbirolli recording, sounding very different although both soloists were young and impassioned female cellists. It is a great privilege and pleasure for a musician of today to be able to enjoy and analyze the innumerable recordings currently available of most musical masterpieces. The only danger is that one might be discouraged from making the attempt oneself (not unimaginable in the case of the Elgar Concerto in the post-Du Pr era); but in general, ignoring the wealth of recordings would mean denying that one always has, in one way or another, been influenced (even by random sources such as one’s grandfather’s record collection). Therefore it is better to keep one’s scope as broad as possible and simply hope that some traces of individuality will refuse to be denied. Fortunately, good music is immortal and interpretation just a matter of breathing new life into music, retelling the story, and translating it for a contemporary audience. Of course, musicians do this with the idea that a given interpretation is most successful if as much effort as possible is made to achieve the style of performance in which one imagines that the composer expected the piece to be performed. The results, particularly in the field of ‘early’ music during the past 20 years, have been incredible and imaginative, although, of course, the much discussed ‘authenticity’ is a relative quality. The intended authenticity, after all, can only have existed during the first week after the composition of a given work, or at most during the first 10 years (but in that case only in certain specific performances).

Additional information


Recording location

MCO Hilversum, The Netherlands

Mastering equiment

Sadie Audio system

Mastering engineer

Jared Sacks

Mixing console

Rens Heijnis Custom made


Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps

Recording format

PCM 44.1

Analog to digital converter

Prism 24 bit / Genex Recorder

Recording date

April 1998


Jared Sacks



Recording engineer

jared Sacks, Onno Scholtze


Jacob Bogaart, Pieter Wispelwey








Digital to analog converter


Press reviews


(…) imposant par sa continuit dramatique (…) (…) Grand image trs pleine et bien dfinie.

The Flying Inkpot

(…) Wispelwey plays with a passion painfully restrained, thoughtfully structured an inspiring performance. (…) (…) In Lutoslawski: Wispelweys concentration is amazing, articulating each nuance with as much clarity as he can. (…)

Muze Inc.

Elgar: (…) A truly subdued moment is the work’s elegiac Adagio where the cello sibgs wistfully to subdued orchestral accompaniment. (…) Lutoslawski: Only a cellist of Wispelwey’s caliber could manage the rigorous solo work with such skill.

Le Monde de la Musique: CHOC

(…) Deux interprtations de toute beaut (…) (…) Elgar: une conception trs diffrente, subtile, introverte et admirablement unitaire, confrant l’oeuvre une homogneit exceptionnelle mais galement une densit aussi dramatique que raffine.(…)

BBC Music Magazine

(…) Bij Lutoslawski leeft de instrumentaal briljante Wispelwey zich uit als een muzikale Houdini. NRC Handelsblad (…) Brave is the musician who couples Elgar with Lutoslawski’s demonic and gripping work. Wispelwey’s gives this a exceptionally warm, cultivated and naturrally empathetic performance. (…) (…) Wispelwey is simply the morge accomplished and dedicated musician. And the orchestra plays with greater finesse and flair. (…)

Musik Theater

(…) Aus den Niederlanden komt die feinfhligere Variante. Der Klang ist bei Wispelwey transparenter, zurckhaltender. Das macht sich auch bei der ‘Elgar Zugabe’ positiv bemerkbar. Sein Spiel ist eine Nuance feinsinniger, luzider, wohl auch bedingt aus seiner Erfahrung mit alter Musik.


(…) One of the finest performance of the Elgar Concerto ever recorded. There Lutoslawski is equally successful. (…) (…) Not a nuance goes unobserved nor a dynamic contrast unmarked, not a texture or figuration is left unclear, not a melodic line fails of its natural shaping and accentuation. (…) (…) Jac van Steen and the Radio Philharmonic plays superbly. (…)


(…) Mit noblesse geht Wispelwey auf Distanz zur romantischen, verzehrenden Leidenschaft,ohne dabei jedoch oberflchlich an der Innigkeit und melodischen Schnheit des Werkers vorbeizuspielen. (…)


(…) al luisterende kruipt deze uitvoering onder je huid. (…) (…) Wispelwey dringt zich als musicus niet aan je op dat doet de muziek uiteindelijke zelf wel! (…)

De Standaard

(…) Elgar: smaakvolle, vertederende lezing (…) (…) Lutoslawski: Wispelwey respecteert de dramatische trefzekerheid van de oorspronkelijke regieaanwijzingen tot in het kleinste detail, uitstekend weerwerk van het orkest (…)


Wispelwey weet publiek te paaien. (…) Wispelwey is meer dan een musicus (…) (…) een uitvoering waarbij je door de knien gaat.


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