Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Luigi Boccherini: Military Night Watch in Madrid, & Cello Concerto in G major – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Truls Mørk (HD 1080p)
Truls Mørk, the world-famous cellist from Norwegian seafaring town Bergen, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra interpret the Luigi Boccherini's Military Night Watch in Madrid, and Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall on February 27, 2017.
Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
♪ Military Night Watch in Madrid (1780)
♪ Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480 (1770)
Truls Mørk, cello
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Truls Mørk
Gothenburg Concert Hall, February 27, 2017
Luigi Boccherini's Concerto in G major for cello and orchestra, G. 480, although omitted from the composer's own catalog, was published in Paris in 1770 and was most likely written not long before that. The composer was living in Spain at the time, working as a chamber composer for the Infante Don Luis. Because of his financial stability and popularity as a composer, this was a very happy time in Boccherini's life, and this concerto is written in an uncomplicated, carefree manner. It is believed that Boccherini, who was the virtuoso cellist of his day, performed this concerto himself along with five other original concerti for audiences in Paris. The piece is considered to be pre-Classical, although it was written during a time in which composers such as Haydn and C.P.E. Bach were beginning to write in the Classical style.
The Concerto in G major exists in three movements and the orchestral instrumentation is for strings only, without woodwinds, which is typical of many pre-Classical works. The first movement, marked Allegro, is written in a duple meter. It is light and elegant with a florid melody that is elaborated upon and expanded to a high artistic level for the cello. The upper register of the cello is used most of the time while the violins harmonize (using the same rhythms) with the melody, usually in thirds with the cello. These characteristics provide a simple overall texture. There is a solo cadenza at the end of the movement, providing the solo cellist with the opportunity to display his/her own original artistry and musicianship.
The second movement, Adagio, is actually better known today as the second movement of Boccherini's most popular cello concerto, the Concerto in B flat major. This is thanks to Friedrich Grützmacher, a well-known cellist who in the late 1800s pieced together what is known as Concerto in B flat major by using the slow movement from this concerto, along with movements from two other works. It is easy to see why Grützmacher chose the Adagio of the Concerto in G major. The expressive and colorful melody allows the cello to sing out with a beautiful, full sound, which is always a treat for cellists.
The finale is an Allegro that dances along in a triple meter. As is characteristic of Boccherini's style, the music is energetic and virtuosic but always retains an elegance that is both formal and courtly in nature. The melodies alternate between lyricism and playfulness. The strongly established key of G major wanders into minor for a spell before returning to a major quasi-recapitulation and short cadenza to close out the piece. Boccherini's extraordinary level of accomplishment as a cellist is reflected in the sheer technical difficulty of the solo part. Fortunately, the high technical demand never occurs at the expense of the musical qualities of the piece. Boccherini's expressive melodies and lyrical passages combine with graceful orchestration and artistic solo passages, making the piece pleasurable to both listener and performer.
Source: Emily Stoops (allmusic.com)
Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk is particularly noted for his romantic, emotional approach. His parents were professional musicians; his father was a cellist, and his mother a pianist. His parents taught him first, trying him on the piano and violin before John Mørk decided to teach Truls his own instrument, the cello. Truls liked the instrument because of its larger size, and insisted on starting his studies with the Bach Cello Suite No. 1 and the Brahms E minor Cello Sonata. "This turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be", he says, but he kept working at it. He says his father did not push him for fear that he would practice too much and become a musician.
At the age of 17, Mørk began studying with Frans Helmerson. Later he studied with Austrian cellist Heinrich Schiff, then in Moscow with Natalia Shakhovskaya, a pupil of Mstislav Rostropovich, whom Mørk had admired for his broad range of color and his flexible, melodic use of vibrato. Mørk dislikes the German style of even vibrato, which, he says, drains the music of its vitality.
In 1982 at the age of 21, Mørk became the first Scandinavian to win the International Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. He also won the Naumberg Competition in New York in 1986, the Cassado Cello Competition in Florence in 1983, and the UNESCO Prize at the European Radio-Union Competition in Bratislava.
His international touring career commenced in 1989 when he was selected to travel with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons on their 1994 North American tour. Since then he has appeared with many of the world's best-known orchestras and conductors, in both evergreen concertos and in new works by composers such as Pavel Haas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, and Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Mørk is also an active chamber musician and appears frequently in festivals throughout the world. He was the founder of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, which he directed for its first 13 years.
Mørk plays a rare 1723 Domenico Montagnana cello purchased for him by the SR Bank.
Source: Joseph Stevenson (allmusic.com)
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