"...Whilst the Cello Symphony is for many one of Britten’s most difficult pieces, Pieter Wispelwey’s passionate account is an extremely good place to try and get inside it, while the Suite builds further his reputation as a highly accomplished and dedicated advocate of the composer."
theclassicalsource.com - 18 December 2010
"...This is a great recording, one that you shouuld not pass up"
Fanfare - January/February 2011
"...his [Wispelwey] appreciation for Britten’s idiom is impressive and both these performances, recorded live in Belgium and the Netherlands at the turn of the year, are deeply considered."
Gramophone - Awards Issue 2010
Performance ***** Recording *****
BBC Music Magazine - October 2010
"The cello repertory has painfully few immortal concertos – hardly more than those by Schumann, Dvorák, Elgar and Shostakovich, supplemented by Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and Strauss’s Don Quixote – but Britten’s Cello Symphony, written along with his three solo suites for Rostropovich, is on the list. The sensibility is relentlessly astringent, the writing shot through with a Dowlandish melancholy, even though the textures are transparent and even expressionistically vibrant. The balance between soloist and orchestra seems on a knife edge, but Wispelwey and the conductor Seikyo Kim maintain a fierce control. It’s a captivating account."
The Sunday Times
"The Cello Symphony, one of four works Britten dedicated to Rostropovich, is one of his grittiest compositions, and even its dedicatee seemed to regard it with respect rather than love. The Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey has found his way to its heart and this recording in partnership with Seikyo Kim’s Flanders Symphony Orchestra could well persuade many doubters that it is the masterpiece its admirers claim. Wispelwey captures the mysterious atmosphere of the music, ranging from sinister and pessimistic to almost flippant. He also gives a masterly account of Britten’s First Cello Suite."
The Sunday Telegraph
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