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Thread: Top 10 Cello Concerti/Pieces for cello and orchestra?

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Default Top 10 Cello Concerti/Pieces for cello and orchestra?

    You may balk at the title, but since Dvorak's pioneering work (and before that, to be sure, but especially after the Dvorak) there have been several masterpieces for cello and orchestra. Here are my favorites (in some vague semblence of order, for once):

    1) Dvorak
    2) Delius
    3) Shostakovich
    4) Elgar
    5) Saint-Saens
    6) Haydn in C
    7) Kalevi Aho
    8) Bloch: Schelomo
    9) Schumann
    10) Monn
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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    I am not as familiar with cello concerti as I should be. Khachaturian's is pretty awesome, though!
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    LvB
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    1) Dvorak: Violoncello Concerto in b, Op. 104
    I think the Dvorak must be at the top of any list; however one feels about Dvorak personally, the piece is so superbly written that it stands out in any violoncello crowd, so to speak. As Brahms commented, if hed known a 'cello concerto like that could be written, he'd have written one long ago.

    After that the order becomes less clear (nor do I claim a great acquaintance with the repertoire....), but here are some of what I take to be serious candidates:

    2) Elgar: e, Op. 85
    3) Bloch: Schelomo
    4) Kabalevsky: #2, G, Op. 77 (a rhapsodic piece with a wild part for saxophone; dark, brooding, and virtuosic, and deserving of a much wider audience)
    5) Shostakovich: #1, Eb, Op. 107 (I don't know #2 well enough to say anything here)
    6) Rubinstein: #2, d, Op. 96 (why this isn't way better known I have no idea; it's tuneful, charming, and eminently playable)
    7) Haydn: D, Hob. VIIb:2
    8) D'Albert: C, Op. 20 (Lyrical, mellow, and haunting; another one whose neglect I cannot understand)

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    Member Sorin Eushayson's Avatar
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    This thread caught my eye, seeing as I just got done listening to two masterful cello concerti by one Antonio Vivaldi: a solo cello concerto (RV 413) that will knock your socks off and leave you longing for a brazen swashbuckling adventure, followed by a double cello concerto (RV 531) so rich your ears will beg you for more thereafter.

    While I'm on the topic, Boccherini has some cello concerti that are of very high quality, the man having been a master cellist (legend tells that he could play violin pieces on his cello - in the right pitch!). I also really enjoy Haydn's work in the genre; he left us two enjoyable cello concertos. Then there's a disc I have of some of CPE Bach's cello concerti, which are fun if not terribly gutsy works. I'm probably cheating if I note Beethoven's Tripelkonzert, aren't I? I'll be quiet now.
    With a handshake,
    -Sorin Eushayson

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Top cello works had been named, but I can add:
    Lalo (one of my favorites)
    Walton
    Vieuxtemps
    Popper (Choose any of 4)
    Gulda (!!)
    Pfitzner
    d'Albert
    Volkmann
    Glazuvov
    Tischenko
    Bax
    Victor Herbert

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Wow, I had no idea Gulda wrote a cello concerto. Any recordings?

    And by the way, I meant Shostakovich #1 when I just put "Shostakovich" up there.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Wow, I had no idea Gulda wrote a cello concerto. Any recordings?
    Martin Ostertag cello with Klaus Arp cond. It's a German Amati CD, probably OOP. Being Gulda it's an absolutely crazy work, mix of Jazz, Baroque, romantic et all. But the cello part is extremely difficult, and I don't think anybody but that guy will play it.

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    I miss Lutoslawski.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I agree that Bloch's Schelomo is great, but what about the equally good but less popular Voice in the Wilderness?

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    And Ligeti.

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    Default Top 10 Cello Works

    1. Dvorak - Cello Concerto
    2. Tchaikovsky - Variations on a Rococo Theme
    3. Arensky - Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky
    4. Beethoven - Triple Concerto
    5. Brahms - Double Concerto
    6. Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 in G major
    7. Schumann - Cello Concerto
    8. Elgar - Cello Concerto
    9. Bruch - Kol Nidrei
    10. Bloch - Schelomo - Hebrew Rhapsody
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    Senior Member wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    ...And by the way, I meant Shostakovich #1 when I just put "Shostakovich" up there.
    Actually we took that for granted, and also that you meant Dvoraks real, SaintSaens 1st lol.

    I am running out of enthusiasm for lists, but, anyway, and as triple and double can be among them, mine is like this:

    1. Saint-Saens 1st
    2 Dvoraks
    3. Beethovens tripl
    4. Schumanns (I love it more than it deserves)
    5. Brahms doubl
    6. Elgar (!!!)
    7. Haydn C
    8. Vivaldi Rv 416
    9. Shostak 1st
    10. Bocch no 9 /Grutzmacher (this is in my brain forever, sorry Luigi)

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    Member livemylife's Avatar
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    Based on listening:
    1) Dvorak
    2) Elgar
    3) Schumann
    4) Lalo
    5) Bloch Schelomo
    6) Shosty 1
    7) Goltermann 3
    and the rest.

    Based on playing, I would include Popper show pieces, saint-saens and haydn concerti to the list.
    I was so unengaged in the tchaik pieces (pezzo capriccioso, rococo variations) and boccerini that my teacher made me choose other pieces. hahaha.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livemylife View Post
    I was so unengaged in the tchaik pieces (pezzo capriccioso, rococo variations) and boccerini that my teacher made me choose other pieces. hahaha.
    I could never understand the Tchaikovsky variations either. It is just not musical enough. Too much show, I daresay.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    I'll first put up the Three Pillars:

    Elgar
    Dvořák
    Haydn No.1

    ...and then fill the construction with:

    Schumann
    both Shostakovichs
    Haydn No.2
    Britten's Cello Symphony
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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