Recorded in the stunning St Joseph Church, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, these works highlight a technique composers have used of retuning a string instrument, known as accordatura tuning. Here the retuned cello has a lowered pitch that adds richness and depth.
The 3 works chosen, by J. S. Bach and Zoltán Kodály, are the most significant and substantial pieces for cello to use accordable tuning, and these thoughtful performances establish a benchmark that stands with or surpasses even the most famous renditions of these masterpieces.
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Only a handful of cellists in the world have ever professionally recorded the 40 Etudes by David Popper. No doubt, the market appeal of pedagogical works contributed to this aversion, no less than their technical demands. Those few that were ultimately completed, while instructionally helpful to students and teachers, were not at all musically compelling.
This recording of the complete set of 40 Etudes was undertaken to present them, in contradistinction to those already done, in a faithful and engaging, dynamic and aesthetically coherent set of virtuoso performances that even casual listeners may enjoy.