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Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bruch

Pieter Wispelwey

Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Bruch

SKU: 16501

Year of release: 2001

Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor op. 33 18:44
1. Allegro non troppo Saint-Saens 05:24
2. Allegretto con moto Saint-Saens 04:30
3. Allegro non troppo Saint-Saens 08:48
4. Andante Cantabile op. 11 Tchaikovsky 07:03
5. Variations on a Rococo Theme op. 33 Tchaikovsky 18:52
6. Kol Nidrei op. 47 Bruch 10:39
Total time: 55:20

About this album

This was the first commercially produced SACD hybrid super audio on the market. In June of 2000, I sat in one room recording in pcm and the research team of Philips were in the room next door taking my analogue signal directly from my mixer. I first released my pcm version in the fall of 2000. The Pyramix at that time was very primitive but thanks to the Phliips team who worked around the clock to produce the software, we were able to get this DSD version out at the beginning of 2001. 
Jared Sacks
SAINT-SAENS TCHAIKOVSKY BRUCH I still find it striking that when we are asked for a typically romantic cello concerto, we think immediately of Dvorok, or even of Elgar, even though these works were composed respectively in 1895 and 1919, while the truly romantic cello concerti are actually those by Schumann (1850), Saint-Saitns (1870), and Tchaikovsky (1876). It would appear, then, that there are considerable misapprehensions about the nature of romanticism and the 19th century. In any case, the latter three works do not present the cello as a primarily autumnal and nostalgic instrument Singing yes, expressive, yes, but also agile and flexible. Moreover, the soft spot that I have for these pieces lies in the intriguing counterpoint of passion and ironic elegance, enthusiasm and civilization, a style in which, on one hand, aristocracy and on the other, sensuality and passion, play into each other’s hands. Under the surface, feelings of fear, regret, protest and impossible longing play their roles, but the balance between intoxication and discipline predominates. A simple example of that balance can be seen in the opening 8 measures of the famous theme from Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. A sort of formal decorum alternates every 2 measures with emotionalism, the other supporting pillar of the composition. The symbiosis in a nutshell. A good example of the deceptiveness of outward appearances is the close of the central movement of the Saint-Saltns. Unexpectedly, diverse elements from the minuet theme take on new and ultimately dark and foreboding forms, and suddenly we are engulfed in psychological quicksand. Quickly the wrinkles are ironed out again, but that moment of magic will remain in the listener’s unconscious. We hope that you will excuse us for adding two unmistakably late-romantic works to SaintSans and the ‘Rococo and invite you to see the combination of styles in the context of counterpoint and polemic contrast Moreover, a bit of cellistic nostalgia never hurts. Pieter Wispelwey

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alsof Pieter Wispelwey in je kamer zit" Limburgs Dagblad "Cantabile is Pieter Wispelweys middle name" ....een cellist, die de kunst van het zangerig spelen tot grote hoogten heeft verheven, profileert de melodiek van Tchaikovkys ...Andante opus 11 met een inlevingsvermogen waarvoor termen tekort schieten ...Saint-Sans is bij Wispelwey en Sepec een meester van feerie en eerlijk romantiek.

The Absolute sound

The Best in New-Format Software October/November 2004


opnieuw een cd die de schoonheidsprijs verdient. () () wat Wispelwey op vier snaren presteert is goochelen en toveren tegelijk. Zijn kwispelende virtuozendom gaat vergezeld van een sensualteit die zelfs versteende harten moet kunnen verwarmen.

Gooi- en Eemlander

Magnifieke uitvoeringen waarin hij zich met rijkgekleurde toon, verbazingwekkende techniek en intense muzikaliteit een boeiend verteller toont.


prachtige solopartijen in Saint Saens cello concert () () de verrichtingen van onze landgenoot en het orkest zijn excellent. Wispelwey is een meester die de bravoura van zijn super technische brille als het ware spelenderwijs integreert in een prachtige, warme en toch lichte, transparante en tegelijk rijk genuanceerde toonvorming. Wispelwey behoort tot de internationale top van de "cellistiek"!!


Man glaubt wirklich dabei zu sein, wenn Wispelwey mit feinem, nichts zu dicken Strich seinem wunderbar kantablen, schlank und farbig klingenden Instrument die schnsten Zaubertone entlockt. () () Zum ersten Mal versprte ich das unbeschreibliche Gefhl, wirkliche Konzertsaal-Atmosphre in den eigenen vier Wnden zu erleben.


Pieter Wispelwey is impeccable. His bowing is seamless, his reflexes lightning-quick, and his unruffled tone nicely modulated.

Klassik Heute

Pieter Wispelwey ist ein Groer, und so unprtentis-wahrhaftig, so klassich-uneitel, so diszipliniert-sinnlich hrt man den Zyklys nicht off.

Technical Specifications

Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
SpeakersAudioLab Holland
Recording SoftwarePyramix
Recording LocationBremen Germany
Recording EngineerJared Sacks, Onno Scholte
ProducerJared Sacks, Pieter Wispelwey
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentJared Sacks
Mastering EngineerB+W 803 diamond series
Digital ConvertersDCS DSD AD/DA
Cablesvan den Hul