Paul Tortelier: The Rias Recordings

Album cover art for upc 4022143214553
Label: AUDITE
Catalog: AUD21455
Format: COMPACT DISC

Billing, Klaus; Broddack, Lothar; Tortelier, Paul

Paul Tortelier was, alongside Pierre Fournier, the greatest French cellist of his time and one of the most sought-after internationally. He launched his career, which lasted well over 50 years, in the late 1930s. In 1948, a tour of Europe took him to Berlin: until his death in 1990 he was to return many times to the city to perform concerts and make radio recordings. His studio recordings for the RIAS are now released for the very first time. He is accompanied by the RIAS house pianists of the time, Klaus Billing and Lothar Broddack. Paul Tortelier, who was principal cello of orchestras in Paris, Monte Carlo and Boston in the 1930s and early 1940s, met Pablo Casals in 1950 who engaged him at his newly founded festival in Prades (and Perpignan in 1951). The music of Johann Sebastian Bach remained a linchpin in Paul Tortelier's musical thinking for his entire life. This edition presents Tortelier's highly expressive reading of the solo cello suite in D major, whose musical flow is never interrupted by any capricious interpretational liberties. This attitude, combining the factual Bach playing of the pre-war era with the unbridled passion of his idol Casals, was highly unusual at the time. This edition presents chamber music recordings from the archives of Deutschlandfunk Kultur: an impressive illustration of this great cellist's enormous range of repertoire at an early peak of his career. Three works included here are now available for the first time on album in his interpretations: Robert Schumann's Fantasie­stücke, Op. 73, Alfredo Casella's cello sonata in C major and Tortelier's own Trois p'tits tours, of which only the third piece, Le Pitre, has previously been available on record.

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