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BI 1827
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BI 1827

BARBER, S.: Cello Concerto, Op. 22 / Cello Sonata, Op. 6 / Adagio for Strings (Poltera)

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2013

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra

Litton, Andrew

Kathryn Stott


Christian Poltera



Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway

Nybrokajen 11 (the former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 52:47
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BARBER, S.: Cello Concerto, Op. 22 / Cello Sonata, Op. 6 / Adagio for Strings (Poltera)

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Cello Concerto, Op. 22

1 I. Allegro moderato 11:50
 Christian Poltera Soloist
 Litton, Andrew
2 II. Andante sostenuto 6:20
 Christian Poltera Soloist
 Litton, Andrew
3 III. Molto allegro e appassionato 8:24
 Christian Poltera Soloist
 Litton, Andrew

Cello Sonata, Op. 6

4 I. Allegro ma non troppo 7:56
 Kathryn Stott Soloist
5 II. Adagio 4:06
 Kathryn Stott Soloist
6 III. Allegro appassionata 5:46
 Kathryn Stott Soloist

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

 Christian Poltera Soloist
 Litton, Andrew

On previous recordings, Christian Poltéra has combined concertos with chamber works by composers such as Frank Martin and Arthur Honegger. The recipe proved highly successful, resulting in more rounded portraits of each composer, as well as of the performer himself: while Poltéra’s performance of Martin’s Cello Concerto was described in Gramophone as having ‘an inspirational intensity to compare with the celebrated Du Pré/Barbirolli recording of the Elgar Concerto’, the reviewer in Fanfare praised him for ‘playing with the kind of semi-arrogant, swashbuckling carefree attitude that suits Honnegger to a tee’. As he now proceeds to Samuel Barber – some twenty years younger than both Martin and Honegger – Poltéra opens his programme with the Cello Concerto, tailored especially for the Georgian-born cellist Raya Garbousova in 1945. The 25-minute long work is one of only three concertos by Barber, and is remarkable for the way in which he balances out the natural lyric expressiveness of his earlier music with a more urgent, acerbic style, highly rhythmic and intense. That lyricism and expressivity is of course most famously heard in the enormously popular Adagio for strings, which closes the disc in a performance by the strings of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrew Litton. But before that, Christian Poltéra and his regular chamber-music partner Kathryn Stott gives a performance of the Sonata for Cello and Piano, composed while Barber was still a student, but brilliantly written for the two instruments.

"... This performance [Cello Concerto] is beautifully detailed in balance and emotional depth. Poltera is a fine player, and Litton and the bergen Philharmonic are with him all the way. This is a work of great contrast and subtlety, both in phrasing and harmony. Not everyone can handle it, but these players do. The cello Sonata is more outwardly aggresive and a bit harder to keep in touch with, but it is another fine work. It is also played with attention to detail and makes a stronger impression. After this, the beautiful Adagio for Strings makes a fine encore..."

David W Moore - American Record Guide - July/August 2013

 "... I am extremely impresses with Christian Poltéra. He has loads of technique and all the musicianship one could want. i don’t think anyone looking for Barber’s cello music would be disappointed with this CD."

Dave Saemann - Fanfare - July/August 2013

                   Music *** (Good)                 Sound **** (Very Good)

Ole Pflüger - Fono Forum magazine - June 2013

"...amongst versions that I’ve heard this new one from Christian Poltéra strikes me as being as fine as any and the splendid reading of the Cello Sonata is a second compelling reason for purchasing this disc. I’ve mentioned the sound quality in respect of the concerto. I listened to this recording in CD format and found that all three recordings are fully up to the usual excellent BIS standards ..."
John Quinn - - May 2013

                 Editor’s Choice

"Poltéra is completely at home in Barber’s richly romantic concerto. finding tenderness and vitality with the deft support of Litton’s players... With excellent  sound, this makes an excellent addition to Poltéra’s series of single-composer discs for BIS."

Guy Weatherall - Classical Music magazine - May 2013

                     Performance ****      Recording ****

"...Christian Poltera meets its [Cello Concerto] technical demands with almost complete ease, and projects the more lyrical moments with subtle inflections of line and beautifully centred tone... Conductor Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra are lively and responsive partners, helped by an excellent recording. The main coupling is Barber’s early Sonata ... Poltéra and pianist Kathryn Stott bring out the work’s Brahmsian ardour and its contrasts between tranquility and restlessness..."

Anthony Burton - BBC Music magazine - May 2013

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