Goltermann: Cello Concerto op. 14; Symphony op. 20 / Aliyev, Griffiths, ORF Vienna RSO

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If you know the cellist-professor-composer Georg Goltermann (1824-1898) and his eight (!) cello concertos, you’re either a cellist or married to one. In his lifetime...

If you know the cellist-professor-composer Georg Goltermann (1824-1898) and his eight (!) cello concertos, you’re either a cellist or married to one. In his lifetime and for a while thereafter, the instrumental virtuoso-cum-composer was popular and well-liked enough to have the Cantilena of his Cello Concerto recorded by Pablo Casals – but not much since. That’s a shame because that lyrical-melancholic, never gratuitously virtuosic op.10 is a picture-perfect, delightful romantic cello concert. The symphony, then well received and Goltermann’s pride, too, goes down nicely in a post-Brahms vain rather à la Bruch or Gernsheim, especially the exquisite, lively hunting Scherzo with its sweeping Trio.

REVIEW:

The Symphony, the third of the works in the key of A minor, is receiving its first recording here. It was premiered in Leipzig, and I think that is quite significant, because it owes much to the memory of the recently deceased Felix Mendelssohn, in particular his Scottish Symphony. It was very well-received by public and reviewers. I was amused by a quote in the notes from a newspaper report of the premiere, which stated that even in 1851, critics were bemoaning that the quality of melody was no longer being adequately appreciated by composers (but Goltermann was excused from this criticism).

I’d not heard of Turkish cellist Jamal Aliyev before, but he has performed at the Proms and won a number of prizes at international competitions. It is not hard to see why; he is very good, giving these little-known works his fullest efforts. Under the assured direction of Howard Griffiths, such a champion of the unsung composer, the ORF Vienna orchestra sound superb. My only quibble with the sound quality was the occasional sharp intake of breath from Aliyev (but hey, he’s got to breathe).

This is one of those unsung composer discs that really does “sing”. Goltermann might not have had the most original of compositional voices, but he knew how to write concentrated, melodic pieces, and now we know that even in the mid-19th century, melody was in short supply (what would those critics have thought of the 20th century, I wonder?).

-- MusicWeb International



Product Description:


  • Release Date: April 07, 2023


  • UPC: 845221054698


  • Catalog Number: C5469


  • Label: Capriccio


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: Romantic


  • Composer: Georg Goltermann


  • Conductor: Howard Griffiths


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Jamal Aliyev


  • Performer: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra



Works:


  1. Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 14

    Composer: Goerg Goltermann

    Ensemble: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Jamal Aliyev (Cello)

    Conductor: Howard Griffiths


  2. Romance in A Minor, Op. 60, No. 1

    Composer: Goerg Goltermann

    Ensemble: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Howard Griffiths


  3. Ballade in G Major, Op. 81

    Composer: Goerg Goltermann

    Ensemble: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Howard Griffiths


  4. Symphony in A Minor, Op. 20

    Composer: Goerg Goltermann

    Ensemble: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Howard Griffiths