The Cello Concerto was the third and last solo concerto that William Walton wrote for a string instrument. The commission for the melancholy late work came from the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.
The Cello Concerto was the third and last solo concerto that William Walton wrote for a string instrument. The commission for this melancholy late work came from the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. As a youth, he had dared the adventurous flight from Russia to a new life and later made it out of homelessness to become principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic. The cello concerto was written in a close exchange between the two friends.
If one believes Schoenberg's judgment of Mahler as a symphonist, then "actually already in the first symphony everything is there that will characterize him; here already sounds his life melody, which he brings to the highest development: the devotion to nature and thoughts of death".Titanhad Mahler initially christened his first work - a hymn of praise to the entire creation, life with all its ups and downs. In the original program, the composer wrote of the "awakening of nature from its long winter sleep," of "spring without end," and of the continuation of life "in full sail. However, Mahler's departure into a new era of the symphony met with incomprehension from the concert audiences of the time.
Participants and additional information:
Basel Symphony Orchestra
Steven Isserlis, violoncello
Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
William Walton (1902-1983):
Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (1957)
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911):
Symphony No. 1 in D major (1888)
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