Pablo Cassals: Dvorak, Elgar - Cello Concertos; Bruch - Kol Nidrei (FLAC)
Pablo Cassals: Dvorak, Elgar - Cello Concertos; Bruch - Kol Nidrei (FLAC)

Performer: Pablo Casals
Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Adrian Boult, George Szell, Landon Ronald
Composer: Max Bruch, Antonin Dvorak, Edward Elgar
Audio CD
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: EMI
Size: 232 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191 (Op. 104)
Composed by Antonin Dvorak
Performed by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
with Pablo Casals
Conducted by George Szell

# Cello Concerto in E minor (also arr. as Viola Concerto by F.Salmond), Op. 85
Composed by Edward Elgar
Performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra
with Pablo Casals
Conducted by Sir Adrian Boult

# Kol Nidrei, for cello & orchestra, Op. 47
Composed by Max Bruch
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
with Pablo Casals
Conducted by Sir Landon Ronald

Which is more important, the music or the sound?

For me it is always the music. I would rather listen to a deeply moving performance recorded in the 1930’s than a bland one recorded in DDD in the 1990’s. The Kol Nidre is so beautiful and so well played that it is moving beyond description. (I listen to this version every year for its spiritual as well as its musical value.)
But it is the Dvorak to which I repeatedly turn. Yes, the Czech Philharmonic is not the Berlin or the Vienna Philharmonic. That is precisely the point. Here we are listening to a young George Szell conducting the Czech Phil. with a young Casals playing. In my mind’s eye I can imagine that only a few months from the time of this recording, Nazi storm troopers will be occupying that same concert hall. This piece and this performance recall a different time and a different era, now lost forever. Call it the old school if you will, but to me the musical values and the emotions evoked by this recording merit five stars and repeated listening.

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