Pierre Fournier; George Szell, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – Dvorak: Cello Concerto (1962/2014)
DSD128 (.dsf) 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 38:24 minutes | 3,03 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:24 minutes | 788 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Source: HDTT | Genre: Classical
HighDefTapeTransfers chose another genuine classic to remaster, and one can hardly argue the importance of this 1961 recording of Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104, B.191 from cellist Pierre Fournier ant the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by George Szell.
This recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto is a performance in which the accompaniment is fully half of the equation. Szell gives the contrasting moods of the orchestral part a symphonic tautness.The cellist holds his own magnificently, fully matching Szell’s electricity. The 1962 recording sounds amazingly good. Listen to the paired winds in the second movement theme to get a good idea of how transparent the sound is. The technical playing of Fournier is without question particularly authoritative and impressive – the right hand/bowing phrasing is special in a way which is just unforgettable and rich in tone….and the left hand contact and articulation with the strings never less than brilliant and inspired – but beyond that, the romantic sweep, ultimate control and passionate throb of the playing on all four strings – even high on the fingerboard with the A string (and D) – is unmatched even after 40 years. For virtuosic cello playing and faultlessly sympathetic orchestral accompaniment from start to finish, only one recording offers perfection.The Pierre Fournier/George Szell rendition with the Berlin Philharmonic is that performance.
In the near half century since the recording sessions for this disc were taped on the three days ending June 3, 1962 at Christ’s Church in Berlin, no cellist or conductor has bested this reading when it comes to integrating the highly complex solo part with the equally challenging orchestral accompaniment. This pervasive delight extends to the second movement, which can sound maudlin in lesser hands than those of Fournier, who endows every note with a shimmering vivacity. His tone uses like the elan of a young tenor’s voice on a spring morning, set to take on every challenge, full of life’s anticipation, as it blends lovingly with the counterpoint in Szell’s woodwinds and strings. Soloist and conductor open the third movement briskly. Szell stirs the orchestra in a manner reminiscent of his recording of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, a fitting counterpoint to the arching, wistful tone of Fournier’s cello.
01 – I. Allegro
02 – II. Adagio, ma non troppo
03 – III. Finale: Allegro moderato – Andante – Allegro vivo
Recorded in June 1961 at Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem.
Transferred from a DGG 4-track tape.