Paul Tortelier: Dvorak Cello Concerto, André Previn

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1. Movement "Allegro"

2. Movement "Adagio ma non troppo"

3. Movement "Finale (Allegro moderato)"

Cello Concerto in B minor, op. 104
by Antonin Dvorák (1841-1904)
Paul Tortelier (1914-1990), Cello
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, conductor
London 18.-21.IX.1977

You may also like Paul Tortelier performing the third movement of the Dvorak concerto for cello and orchestra in B minor, Op. 104. Otto Ackermann conducts the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra.

Paul Tortelier
 Paul Tortelier
Dvořák's friend, the cellist Hanuš Wihan (1855-1920) been asking him to compose a cello concert
o for a long time, but he hesitated to undertake the task since he supposedly considered the cello too weak for a large-scale concerto - even though he had already composed a cello concerto in 1865, leaving it unorchestrated. In 1894 while serving as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City, Dvořák heard a few performances of the second cello concerto (Op. 30) by Victor Herbert (1859-1924), and he was inspired to begin composing a new concerto for cello and orchestra. Dvořák completed this work the following year and dedicated it to Wihan, although he chose the cellist Leo Stern (1862-1904) to perform at the premiere in London. Possible reasons for this decisions include a scheduling conflict with Wihan's Bohemian Quartet, a misunderstanding with the Philharmonic Society, or Wihan's offense at Dvořák's rejection of his two cadenzas. Cellist Steven Isserlis has pointed out that Stern got the job only after sending Dvořák two rare pigeon breeds - and the composer was obsessed with collecting pigeons. Whatever the reason, the premiere was successful and the work became one of Dvořák's most popular. His long-time mentor and friend Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was so impressed that he declared, "If I had known that it was possible to compose such a concerto for the cello, I would have tried it myself!"