Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra & Edo de Waart – Elgar: Cello Concerto & Piano Quintet (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:09:57 minutes | 678 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Alpha
After making several discs of chamber music by Brahms and Schubert, the cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker now records a large-scale concerto, showing the full range of her talent. Composed between 1918 and 1919, Elgar’s Concerto Op.85 was poorly received at its first performance but has since become established as one of the key works in the cello repertoire. To complete the programme, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker rejoins her chamber music partners, the violinists Carolin Widmann and David McCarroll, the violist Pauline Sachse and the pianist Martin Helmchen, in Elgar’s Piano Quintet, composed at the same time as the Concerto and premiered in London in 1919.
What if this album turned out to be the new standard version of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor? Judging from what we get to see of the young cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, it might well be, thanks to the sumptuous, smouldering sounds that fill this interpretation from beginning to end. It would be far too tempting to compare the young German to her distant colleague Jacqueline Du Pré, for whom this concerto was a signature piece. The publisher was on the right track when they took Marie-Elisabeth Hecker’s picture striking exactly the same pose as the English cellist does in one of her most famous photographs, taken when she was the young wife of Daniel Barenboim: but Hecker’s head is cocked the other way to throw the observer off.
Born in Zwickau in 1987, she was one of the youngest participants ever to win the Rostropovich Competition in Paris. In 2010, she enjoyed a thrilling success in her hometown, playing Concerto in A minor to mark the bicentenary of Robert Schumann’s birth (he was born in the same town), conducted by Daniel Barenboim, who would no doubt have felt very touched by a scene that recalled his own youth. The attentive and careful accompaniment by Edo de Waart shows off the sonic riches of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, which he led from 2011 to 2016. Yet more proof of the high quality achieved by so many orchestras around the world today. This is an interesting pairing with a short, ultra-romantic piece by Elgar, Sospiri, transcribed here for cello and strings, whose secrets are laid bare by cellist Sol Gabetta. The Quintet for Piano in A Minor is the other major piece by Elgar to feature on this new recording. Composed in 1918, it is a very refined work, which often takes on orchestral tones, in a very Brahmsian language.
Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934)
01. Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: I. Adagio-Moderato – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
02. Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: II. Lento-Allegro molto – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
03. Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: III. Adagio – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
04. Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: IV. Allegro-Moderato-Allegro ma non troppo – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
05. Sospiri, Op. 70 (Arr. for Cello & Strings) – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker
06. Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84: I. Moderato – Carolin Widmann
07. Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84: II. Adagio – Carolin Widmann
08. Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84: III. Andante-Allegro – Carolin Widmann
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, cello
Carolin Widmann, violin
David McCarroll, violin
Pauline Sachse, viola
Martin Helmchen, piano
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
Edo De Waart, conductor