Rachmaninov & Chopin Cello Sonatas Alisa Weilerstein & Inon Barnatan

Cover Rachmaninov & Chopin Cello Sonatas

Album info



Label: Decca

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

Artist: Alisa Weilerstein & Inon Barnatan

Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943), Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943): Sonata for cello and piano in G minor, op.19:
  • 11. Lento - Allegro moderato12:59
  • 22. Allegro scherzando06:39
  • 33. Andante05:44
  • 44. Allegro mosso10:39
  • 5Vocalise, Op 34, No.1405:59
  • Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Sonata for cello and piano in G minor, op.65:
  • 61. Allegro moderato10:29
  • 72. Scherzo (Allegro con brio)04:42
  • 83. Largo03:37
  • 94. Finale (Allegro)06:01
  • 12 Etudes, Op.25:
  • 10No.7 in C Sharp Minor05:29
  • Introduction & Polonaise Brillante, Op.3:
  • 11Introduction & Polonaise Brillante, Op.308:34
  • Romance In F Minor (1890):
  • 12Romance In F Minor (1890)02:09
  • 24 Préludes, Op.28 - Arr. Franchomme:
  • 13No.7 - Andante01:04
  • Total Runtime01:24:05

Info for Rachmaninov & Chopin Cello Sonatas

Together with long-term duo partner Inon Barnatan, best-selling Decca cellist Alisa Weilerstein records two of the giants of cello chamber music: the Rachmaninov and Chopin sonatas.

Alisa Weilersteins debut on Decca with the Elgar Cello Concerto (conducted by Daniel Barenboim; his first recording of this outstanding work since his earlier recording with the legendary Jacqueline du Pre) was received rapturously by critics worldwide; and her subsequent recording of the Dvorak cello concerto no less well-received.

Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan are two of the worlds leading instrumentalists, and this album clearly shows the benefits of a long-lasting chamber music partnership with two exceptional musicians, captured in their prime.

The Rachmaninov Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano premiered with the composer himself playing the fiendishly tricky piano part is Rachmaninovs last chamber music work. One of the first major pieces to be written after Rachmaninov overcame writers block with a course of hypnotherapy, this is a piece to be discovered and treasured.

Chopins Cello Sonata in G minor is one of the few works Chopin wrote for instruments other than the piano; and the last of his works to be published in his lifetime. Remarkable for its concentration of material, no work of Chopins gave him more trouble; I write a little and cross out a lot, wrote Chopin. Alisa and Inon bring out a wealth of feeling in this emotional rollercoaster of a piece.

By contrast, Chopins Introduction and Polonaise Brillante is one of his first published compositions. Full of bravura and verve, it has an undeniable feel for the spirit of the dance and a distinctive theme. Then Chopins Etude essentially a nocturne brings a dramatic change of character and mood somber, mysterious dreams (Heller); a song of happiness irredeemably lost (Koczalski).

Two instantly recognizable melodies are included here too: Rachmaninovs gorgeous and reflective Vocalise, one of the most transcribed (covered in pop-parlance) pieces ever written; and a light, airy Andante by Chopin, sure to bring a smile as a refreshing musical sorbet.

When Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan perform together, audiences are enthralled, critics enraptured. This disc sets a new benchmark for recordings of these great works, and this exceptional quality of music-making is certain to set the bar for a long time.

„The pair closed with Chopin s Sonata for Cello and Piano, a work of such fiendish difficulty that even Chopin was convinced that parts of it might be unplayable. Ms. Weilerstein and Mr. Barnatan put that notion to rest with their poise and passion, and they returned amid thunderous applause.“ (The New York Times, NY)

„Their interpretations were like a series of marvelously expressive close-ups: every note and phrase pinned to an exact emotion, every emotion saturating the frame.“ (The Boston Globe)

Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Alisa Weilerstein
American cellist Alisa Weilerstein has attracted widespread attention worldwide for her combination of natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship. The intensity of her playing has regularly been lauded, as has the spontaneity and sensitivity of her interpretations. Following her Zankel Hall recital debut, New York Magazine wrote: “Whatever she plays sounds custom-composed for her, as if she has a natural affinity with everything.”

Weilerstein was born in 1982 into a distinguished musical family (her father Donald was first violin in the Cleveland Quartet; her mother is the noted pianist Vivian Weilerstein). She made her professional debut with the Cleveland Orchestra when she was 13 and her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Orchestra in March 1997. In 2000 she received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000-01 she was selected for two prestigious young artists programmes: the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization) “Rising Stars” recital series and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two. In May 2004, she graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in Russian History. She was named the winner of the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award, and in 2008 she was awarded Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal prize for exceptional achievement. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss, she was appointed artist-in-residence at the institute beginning August 2009.

In November 2009, Alisa Weilerstein was one of four artists selected to participate in a White House classical music event that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and playing for guests including President Obama and the First Family. In December 2009 she was the soloist on a tour of Venezuela with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel.

Another milestone in her career came in spring 2010: Weilerstein made her Berlin Philharmonic debut playing the Elgar Concerto with conductor Daniel Barenboim; the concert was repeated in Oxford, televised live around the world and later issued on DVD. The Guardian reviewer of the Oxford concert wrote: “Alisa Weilerstein gave the most technically complete and emotionally devastating performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto that I have ever heard live.” In August of that year, Weilerstein made her BBC Proms debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä playing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, a work she performed in spring 2011 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov on a US tour.

Alisa Weilerstein signed an exclusive contract with Decca Classics in 2011. Her first recording under the agreement, a coupling of the concertos by Elgar and Elliott Carter, with Barenboim conducting the Berlin Staatskapelle, was released in January 2013. The New York Times acclaimed “the soloist’s superb control keenly matched by the conductor’s insightful support”. In April 2014 (US pre-release in January) Decca will issue her new recording of the Dvořák Cello Concerto, with Jiří Bělohlávek conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and October will bring the release of her first solo album.

Alisa Weilerstein has already appeared with all of the other major orchestras throughout North America and Europe, with conductors including Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Jeffrey Kahane, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ludovic Morlot, Tadaaki Otaka, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Yuri Temirkanov, Juraj Valcuha, Simone Young and David Zinman. She also appears at major music festivals throughout the world as a soloist, recitalist and chamber player, including as part of a core group of musicians at the Spoleto Festival USA and performing with her parents, Donald and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, as the Weilerstein Trio.

Committed to expanding the cello repertoire, Ms. Weilerstein is a fervent champion of new music. She has performed Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul for cello and orchestra around the world. She also frequently performs Golijov’s Omaramor for solo cello. In 2008 she gave the world premiere of Lera Auerbach’s 24 Preludes for cello and piano with the composer at the Caramoor Festival.

Highlights of Alisa Weilerstein’s 2012-13 season included North American and European tours with pianist Inon Barnatan and her debut with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for a 16-city United States tour. She gave concerts in Berlin performing the Elliott Carter Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle, appeared with Gianandrea Noseda and the Philadelphia Orchestra, made her debut with conductor Lionel Bringuier and the Atlanta Symphony and performed at the Kennedy Center with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra. Her festival appearances in summer 2013 included Ravinia, Vail, Aspen, Grand Teton, Bonn Beethovenfest, Tivoli and Aarhus.

In the 2013/14 season Ms. Weilerstein is artist-in-residence with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and has engagements with the Toronto, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas and Chicago symphonies and the New York, Los Angeles, Oslo and Israel philharmonic orchestras. Further plans include performances with the Australian Chamber, Philharmonia, Hallé and Zurich Tonhalle orchestras, the Netherlands Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony Orchestra as well as recitals in Europe and North America.

Inon Barnatan
Celebrated for the unique approach, probing intellect, and consummate artistry he brings to a broad range of repertoire, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan currently serves as the first Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic. This unprecedented three-season appointment sees him appear as soloist in subscription concerts, take part in regular chamber performances, and act as ambassador for the orchestra.

Inon Barnatan has been named as the New York Philharmonic’s first artist in association, a major three-season appointment highlighted by multiple concerto and chamber collaborations with the orchestra. The Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw, among others. He is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and frequently performs as a recital partner of cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

Barnatan has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, Philadelphia and San Francisco; the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin; National Arts Centre Orchestra; and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started piano at the age of 3 and made his orchestral debut at 11. He has studied with Professor Victor Derevianko, himself a pupil of Russian master Heinrich Neuhaus; Maria Curcio, a student of the legendary Artur Schnabel; Christopher Elton at London’s Royal Academy of Music; and Leon Fleisher. For more information, visit www.inonbarnatan.com.

Booklet for Rachmaninov & Chopin Cello Sonatas

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