Edgar Moreau – Offenbach & Gulda: Cello Concertos (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:13:32 minutes | 1,37 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Warner Classics
Edgar Moreau performs two cello concertos which bravely and wittily challenge convention. Offenbach’s ambitious Grand Concerto in G major culminates in military fireworks, while Friedrich Gulda’s Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band – written 130 years later – is a dazzling stylistic kaleidoscope. Moreau is joined by conductor Raphaël Merlin and the dynamic orchestral collective Les Forces Majeures.
This concerto begins with a march that is reminiscent of the first act of Beethoven’s Fidelio, which announces the arrival of the sinister character Pizarro – a jest that in turn sets the scene for the soloist’s arrival on Jacques Offenbach’s Grand Concerto for Cello in G Major. The piece was tackled by Jérôme Pernoo in 2009 for Archiv Produktion. Twenty-two years his junior, it is the talented Edgar Moreau recording this work here; composed in Paris in 1847, the concerto is presented in a meticulous reconstruction by Jean-Christophe Keck, the undisputed specialist of the German composer. It’s a challenging work for the soloist, testing both virtuosity and stamina with a staggering duration of over forty minutes.
Born before his time, the pianist Friedrich Gulda was an expert in musical hybridization, viewing classical music as too constraining. Being open to jazz and all other kinds of music, he wrote a concerto (one of the highlights on this record) for the cellist Heinrich Schiff in 1980. Composed for a varied ensemble of musicians, it mixes a big band with a classical orchestra, using an amp to accentuate the cello’s quiet voice. The result is a perplexing score that fuses jazz, waltz (let’s not forget that Gulda is Viennese), Ländler and a peaceful “Ranz des Vaches” – traditional melodies played in the Swiss Alps by herdsmen driving cattle.
This is a deliciously iconoclastic record that’s as hair-raising as Edgar Moreau’s messy locks and the cellist tackles the work with a beautifully playful approach. He is the youngest of a large group of French cellists working today who are perpetuating the appeal of this instrument that has been hugely popular in the western world since replacing the viola da gamba. The carefully selected musicians from the ensemble Les Forces Majeures are conducted with precision and humour by Raphaël Merlin. – François Hudry
1. Grand Concerto for Cello in G Major, “Concerto Militaire”: I. Allegro maestoso 14:38
2. Grand Concerto for Cello in G Major, “Concerto Militaire”: II. Andante 09:46
3. Grand Concerto for Cello in G Major, “Concerto Militaire”: III. Allegretto 18:07
4. Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band, Op. 129: I. Overture 05:00
5. Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band, Op. 129: II. Idylle 07:52
6. Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band, Op. 129: III. Cadenza 07:27
7. Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band, Op. 129: IV. Menuett 04:00
8. Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band, Op. 129: V. Finale alla marcia 06:42
Edgar Moreau, cello
Les Forces Majeures
Raphael Merlin, conductor