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Li-Wei Qin, London PO, Zhang Yi - Edward Elgar; Benjamin Britten; William Walton: Cello Concertos (2014)

Posted By: Designol
Li-Wei Qin, London PO, Zhang Yi - Edward Elgar; Benjamin Britten; William Walton: Cello Concertos (2014)

Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto; Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes
William Walton: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (2014)
Li-Wei Qin, cello; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Zhang Yi, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 315 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 173 Mb | Scans ~ 92 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca | # 8896661 | Time: 01:15:26

An offering of two iconic British cello concertos, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and distinguished cellist Li-Wei Qin, separated by an atmospheric and musically detailed recording of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes conducted by Zhang Yi.

Li-Wei Qin first recorded for ABC Classics 20 years ago in 1994, on receiving first prize in Australia’s Young Performer of the Year in 1993.

Cellists dream of the opportunity to record the Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor Op.85 just once in their life-time, but this release is Li-Wei’s second recording of a work which enjoys universal appeal. On reviewing Li-Wei’s first recording of the Elgar concerto, Andrew Mellor in the Classic FM Magazine observed his ‘Untarnished sensitivity… as well as impeccable tuning, a distinct quality of tone and a fine sense of yearning nostalgia’. Add to this pedigree one of the finest orchestra’s in the world - the London Philharmonic Orchestra - the result is this new recording revealing a performance with musical maturity in abundance, Li-Wei fully evoking the sadness of compassion and yearning in Elgar’s writing.

Li-Wei has been performing the Walton Cello Concerto since 2005, a concert review in Britain’s Bournemouth Echo noting ‘a superb performance of Walton’s wonderful Cello Concerto… Walton’s debt to Elgar is discernible, our debt to Li-Wei immeasurable.’ In that recording Li-Wei displays a kind of brilliance that transcends the sheer technical difficulties, delivering a truly remarkably and musically moving offering. In this recording Li-Wei replaces the familiar ending with the revision that Walton conceived in 1975 for the great Russian-born cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. The revised ending, first published in 2010 as part of Oxford University Press’ critical Walton Edition, does produce a weightier and more dramatic conclusion to the work, and in Li-Wei’s hands, the dozen or so additional bars results in a more poignant sense of tragedy.

Born in Shanghai Li-Wei moved to Australia as a young teenager, in 1993 winning ABC Young Performer of the Year. On completing secondary school, Li-Wei moved to the UK to study with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music in London. While studying in the UK, Li-Wei was selected as a BBC Young Generation Artist. In 1998 he was awarded the Silver Medal at the 11th Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, and in 2001 was recipient of 1st prize in the Naumburg Competition in New York.

Li-Wei Qin has appeared as soloist at the BBC Proms three times in the last 10 years, and in 2011 was Artist in Residence of the Mecklenburg–Vorpommern Festival in Germany. A busy soloist internationally, recent concert appearances for Li-Wei includes the Deutches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and China Philharmonic and in October 2014 he makes his Los Angeles Philharmonic début under the baton of Charles Dutoit.

On this recording Li-Wei plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously loaned by Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Goh.

Here are two distinguished new versions of Walton’s still underestimated Cello Concerto. Both display heaps of eloquence and perceptive artistry from all involved, are utterly valid in their differing approaches and complement each other beautifully. Editorially, too, they stand apart: in the finale Li-Wei Qin opts for the revised coda that Walton fashioned in 1975 following a request for a ‘less melancholic ending’ from the work’s legendary dedicatee, Gregor Piatigorsky. Does it improve on the published original? I don’t think so, but decide for yourselves. Backed to the hilt by a meticulously prepared LPO under Zhang Yi, the Chinese virtuoso manifestly loves this bewitching music and savours to the max its soaring lyricism, fastidious refinement and wistful tenderness. By comparison, Zurich-born Christian Poltéra is marginally leaner in tone and less inclined to linger; his is a refreshing, purposeful view which pays handsome dividends in tightening the structural bolts of the finale’s alluringly wayward theme and improvisations. Fabulously secure in technique, the commanding Poltéra also benefits from wholly sympathetic, razor-sharp support from the São Paulo SO under the late Frank Shipway, while the sound is splendiferously realistic, even by BIS’s customarily high standards.

As for the couplings, Poltéra’s choice of Walton’s solo Passacaglia (written in 1979 80 for Rostropovich) and two substantial works by Paul Hindemith is a particularly happy one. Hindemith was, of course, the soloist in the October 1929 world premiere of Walton’s masterly Viola Concerto, and the two composers remained firm friends right up to Hindemith’s death in 1963. His strongly communicative Cello Concerto of 1940 (whose slow movement provided Walton with the theme for his orchestral Variations on a Theme of Hindemith ) was also written for Piatigorsky and receives magnificently assured and hugely dedicated advocacy here, as does the pithy Solo Sonata from 1922 23 (try its songful Langsam centrepiece). Turning to the excellently engineered ABC Classics release, there’s lots to admire, too, in Qin’s questing, nobly intense interpretation of the Elgar Concerto – he’s a superbly stylish, raptly intuitive performer of whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty more. Yi proves a conspicuously tasteful partner, and his shrewdly observant account of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes – which features some notably accomplished orchestral playing (marvellous work from the LPO’s Principal Flute in ‘Sunday Morning’) allied to a vivid sense of atmosphere – makes a generous bonus on what is a thoroughly recommendable issue. Acquire one or the other – ideally both!

Review by Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

Li-Wei Qin, London PO, Zhang Yi - Edward Elgar; Benjamin Britten; William Walton: Cello Concertos (2014)



Li-Wei Qin, cello
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Zhang Yi, conductor

Tracklist:

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85
01. I. Adagio — Moderato [7:54]
02. II. Lento — Allegro molto [4:28]
03. III. Adagio [4:27]
04. IV. Allegro [10:58]

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a
05. I. Dawn (Lento e tranquillo) [4:08]
06. II. Sunday Morning (Allegro spiritoso) [3:49]
07. III. Moonlight (Andante comodo e rubato) [3:55]
08. IV. Storm (Presto con fuoco) [5:06]

William WALTON (1902-1983)
Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra
09. I. Moderato [8:38]
10. II. Allegro appassionato [6:25]
11. III. Tema ed improvvisazioni (Lento) [15:38]


Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

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Li-Wei Qin (cello), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Zhang Yi / Elgar, Britten, Walton - Cello Concertos, Four Sea Interludes

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==== Log checksum 524ADC563FD86C5A43167E0467601A6BE3CEAED810BE9A3AC87E5082F9635C73 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-05-12 22:55:05

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Li-Wei Qin (cello), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Zhang Yi / Elgar, Britten, Walton - Cello Concertos • Four Sea Interludes
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR14 0.00 dB -19.91 dB 7:54 01-Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - I. Adagio - Moderato
DR17 0.00 dB -21.83 dB 4:28 02-Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - II. Lento - Allegro molto
DR13 -4.00 dB -24.90 dB 4:27 03-Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - III. Adagio
DR15 0.00 dB -19.32 dB 10:58 04-Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - IV. Allegro
DR14 0.00 dB -20.40 dB 4:08 05-Britten: Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a - I. Dawn (Lento e tranquillo)
DR15 0.00 dB -20.34 dB 3:49 06-Britten: Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a - II. Sunday Morning (Allegro spiritoso)
DR13 -2.23 dB -21.74 dB 3:55 07-Britten: Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a - III. Moonlight (Andante comodo e rubato)
DR14 0.00 dB -17.77 dB 5:06 08-Britten: Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a - IV. Storm (Presto con fuoco)
DR13 -4.61 dB -23.92 dB 8:38 09-Walton: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra - I. Moderato
DR17 -1.64 dB -22.54 dB 6:25 10-Walton: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra - II. Allegro appassionato
DR19 0.00 dB -25.06 dB 15:38 11-Walton: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra - III. Tema ed improvvisazioni (Lento)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 11
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 522 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Li-Wei Qin, London PO, Zhang Yi - Edward Elgar; Benjamin Britten; William Walton: Cello Concertos (2014)

Li-Wei Qin, London PO, Zhang Yi - Edward Elgar; Benjamin Britten; William Walton: Cello Concertos (2014)

All thanks to original releaser - quivive

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