Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten - Sonatas For Cello And Piano (2003)

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten

Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

The Wolf, the Rolls Royce and the Unicorn To each of us cellists these works belong to the great gifts of the twentieth century. Pieces to get one's teeth into, to live in, bulging with character and individuality. Dramatic and meaningful music with plenty of suspense and theatrics. Inevitably they differ considerably, as far as style, cast of characters and the situations those characters have to face are concerned.

After all we are dealing with three unique artists and with compositions written over a period of almost three decades. The Shostakovich sonata feels like a kafkasque story, whereas the Prokofjev has characteristics of a grotesque fable and Britten of a magic-realistic allegory. Each pair nonetheless shows similarities. The sonatas of Shostakovich and Prokofjev have in common a combination of an almost conventional, tasty, juicy cello part with a remarkably unruly and drier piano part, the Prokofjev and Britten sonatas are written for Rostropovich and therefore truly for the concert stage and finally the Britten and Shostakovich both have the qualities of a self portrait, much more than the Prokofjev sonata that almost seems to be a portrait of Rostropovich.....

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Dejan Lazic

Pianist and composer Dejan Lazic was born into a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He is quickly establishing a reputation worldwide as “a brilliant pianist and a gifted musician full of ideas and able to project them persuasively” (Gramophone). The New York Times hailed his performance as “... full of poetic, shapely phrasing and vivid dynamic effects that made this music sound fresh, spontaneous and impassioned”. After a highly successful Edinburgh Festival recital, The Scotsman wrote recently: "Dejan Lazic shines like a new star!"

As recitalist and soloist with orchestra Dejan Lazic has appeared at major venues in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia, and has been invited to numerous international festivals, including the world-famous BBC Proms in summer 2011.

In Spring 2008 he gave his orchestral debuts at New York’s Lincoln Center with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer and at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Kirill Petrenko. He also gave highly successful recital debuts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Munich Prinzregententheater, Washington Kennedy Center, in Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing and in Istanbul. In Summer 2008 he performed Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto at the Beijing Great Hall of People in a televised pre-olympic gala concert for an audience of 7,000.

He also performed very successfully with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Giovanni Antonini, Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies under Robert Spano, Swedish Radio, Danish National, Indianapolis, and Sapporo Symphonies, as well as with the Seoul, Hong Kong, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras. In Winter 2010 he toured Spain with Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott.

Other orchestral engagements lead him to the BBC Symphony in London, BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh, SWR Symphony in Stuttgart, MDR Symphony in Leipzig, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Helsinki Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, and Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. With Basel Chamber Orchestra and Giovanni Antonini he performs on tour, among others, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Cologne Philharmonie, and Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts. From 2008/09 season Dejan Lazic is “Artist in Residence” with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam.

He also enjoys a growing following in the Far East to where he returned last season for a tour with NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements there include those with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (including concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall & Metropolitan Art Space), Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, NSO Taiwan, as well as a series of recitals throughout Japan and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China.

In November 2009 he toured Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti, including concerts at the world famous Sydney Opera House. In 2010/11 season he toured Europe, South America, and Asia with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer.

Alongside his solo career Dejan Lazic is also a passionate chamber musician.

He records exclusively for Channel Classics and has released a dozen of recordings so far. The 1st volume of his new "Liaisons" series with works by Scarlatti and Bartók was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim; the 2nd volume with a Schumann/Brahms programme was released in 2009, the 3rd volume with a C.P.E. Bach/Britten programme was released in 2011. In Fall 2008 he released a CD with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko playing Rachmaninov's famous 2nd Piano Concerto - a live recording that has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide and in addition it won the prestigious German Echo Klassik Award 2009. In February 2011 he released a disc featuring Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto which was recorded live in Sydney with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti.

Dejan Lazic is also active as a composer. His works include various piano compositions, chamber music (including String Quartet op. 9, written for Mstislav Rostropovich's 70th birthday gala), and orchestral works, as well as Cadenzas for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven Piano Concertos. In 2007/08 season he premiered his piano cycle "Kinderszenen – Hommage à Schumann" op. 15 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

His recent arrangement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra saw its World Premiere on October 1, 2009 in Atlanta, USA, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under their music director Robert Spano. This concert was also recorded live by Channel Classics and the CD was released in January 2010 to great critical acclaim.

Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1962 and grew up with his two younger brothers in Santpoort, where his parents still live. At the age of 19 he moved to Amsterdam and has remained in the same 17th century house on the Noordermarkt ever since. Pieter's diverse musical personality is rooted in the training he received-firstly from regular exposure from a very early age to his father's amateur string quartet when they rehearsed at the Wispelwey home, to lessons with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam followed by studies with Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in the UK. It was also Dicky Boeke who encouraged him to listen to as much music as possible but particularly sowed the seeds for his love of Renaissance music (Italian and English madrigalists!) and German Lied. These genres, particularly the performances of Dietrich Fischer Diskau, have been a constant source of inspiration for Pieter. In 1990 his first recording with Channel Classics, The Bach Cello Suites, was released to great acclaim and in 1992 he was the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is endowed upon the most promising young musician in the Netherlands; thus his path was secured to the busy and varied career he has today.

Pieter has always been at home on the modern cello with metal and/or gut strings as he is on the baroque 4 string and 5 string cello. Therefore he covers a repertoire from JS Bach to Elliott Carter drawing on a palett of sounds and colours available from his range of instruments, string set-ups and bows. Having grown up in an age and country where hearing period instruments was very much the norm for concert-goers, Pieter naturally developed his conviction that, in the right conditions, much 18th and 19th century music sounds far better on gut strings than on metal. However he is not a purist in the sense that if conditions are less than ideal (no fortepiano, too big a hall, too hot, too humid, too dry acoustically etc.) then he is more than happy to pick up his modern cello with metal strings (which therefor is quite often the case).

Recitals have always played a major part in Pieter's concert diary. As a recitalist with piano, he has all the main repertoire at his disposal which is always ready for performance, often at very short notice. He is not, and has never been, the type of soloist who tours the world with one or two recital programmes and a couple of concertos per season. On the contrary, a typical week in Pieter's life (if one can be said to exist) could well include the Bach suites, with perhaps 2 different recital programmes, a couple of concerto appearances with a student masterclass thrown in for good measure! He has appeared as recitalist all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London), Chatelet (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires) and Sydney Opera House. Future exciting engagements include Bach and Britten suites at the Lincoln Centre, New York and a return visit to the Edinburgh Festival.

Pieter has appeared with a variety of orchestras and ensembles both with and without conductors. Notable projects without conductors have been the touring and recording of the Schumann and Shostakovich cello concertos with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra has, without doubt, provided for Pieter the happiest and most satisfying musical collaborations of his career to date, not least due to the genius of leader and musical director, Richard Tognetti. He has also appeared, with conductor, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC symphony orchestra, the Russian National Symphony, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen to name but a few and has recorded with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Future engagements with orchestras include the Halle, the Japan Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Marc Minkowsky.

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Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten - Sonatas For Cello And Piano (2003)

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten

Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

    Le Journal de Montreal

Le violoncelliste a de quoi mettre en valeur la palette sonore de son instrument, magnifiquement accompagnent pas le pianiste. ()


Welch ein begnadeter Cellist! Welch ein vollkommenes Zusammenspiel! Welch eine grandiose Vermittlung dieser nicht ganz leicht zu verdauenden Cellosonaten aus dem 20. Jarhhundert!

    Klassieke Zaken

Wij mogen blij zijn dat musici van het formaat van Wispelwey en Lazic deze grote geschenken van de twintigste eeuw (aldus Wispelwey) bij elkaar hebben gezet.

    Klassiek Belgie

Wie Wispelwey wel eens heeft horen spelen, kan zich indenken dat hij n wordt met zijn instrument en het als het ware door hem laat vertellen, ademen (...) (...) Een prachtige, doorleefde uitvoering van deze 20e eeuwse werken. SACD Gids Een topprestatie!! (...) De 23e topprestatie in 10 jaar tijd, het lijken maar cijfers, maar dit gouden schijfje toont nog maar eens aan wat geniaal vertolken precies inhoudt. Extravert zijn, uitbundig, theatraal, buitelen over de snaren, het volgende moment tot stille ingekeerdheid komen, absolute boogbeheersing, een minimum aan vibrato en een maximum aan vertelling bereiken........dit is gewoonweg geniaal .... Dejan Lazic verdient hier een even hoge pluim. Noblesse, virtuositeit en creativiteit komen hier helemaal ten dienste van het samenspel. (...) Op het puntje van de stoel!!

    Judy Kuhn

The performances by Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey and Dejan Lazic, a 26-year old pianist-composer from Zagreb, are jewels. The cellists imaginative approach to the Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten Sonatas is reflected in his booklet essay,

    The Strad

The glowing recording is well balanced and Dejan Lazics accompanimental work is responsive, alert and thoroughly idiomatic. But it is on Wispelweys fabulous achievement that one must concentrate. He evinces the utmost beauty of tone in the Shostakovitch Sonata, paying remarkable attention to expressive detail. Brilliant!!

    Best Buy

listen to the SACD version, which has a more detailed and finely of the wonderful playing to be found on the standard cd release. Together, Wispelwey and Lasic make a vigorous, incisive case for these rewarding works. .... Praise is due all round.


This exemplary release conveniently groups together three of the twentieth centurys finest cello sonatas .... Wispelwey is a master poet who responds to each work with a mesmerizing range of tonal colours, dynamics and articulation ... A very special disc indeed. International Record Review Another winner from Wispelwey: playing of plentiful eloquence and imagination. no denying the intellect, emotional scope and questing sprit on show. ...Boasting vividly truthful sound and admirable balance (audiophiles sound make a bee-line to the SACD equivalent) ,this classy Channel Classics release has already afforded me heaps of stimulation and pleasure. An outstanding cellist and a really wonderful musician, Wispelwey imbues each with tremendous intensity.

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten - Sonatas For Cello And Piano (2003)

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten

Dejan Lazic, Pieter Wispelwey

Cables: van den Hul T3 series
Digital Converters: DCS A/D DSD / DCS DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Doopgezinde kerk, Deventer The Netherlands 2003
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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20003: Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten - Sonatas For Cello And Piano
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Sonata For Cello And Piano In D Minor Op. 40 - Allegro Non Troppo
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Sonata For Cello And Piano In D Minor Op. 40 - Allegro
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Sonata For Cello And Piano In C Major Op.40 - Andante Grave
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Sonata For Cello And Piano In C Major Op.40 - Allegro Ma Non Troppo
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Sonata For Celllo And Piano In C Major Op. 65 - Dialogo (Allegro)
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Sonata For Celllo And Piano In C Major Op. 65 - Marcia (Energico)
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Sonata For Celllo And Piano In C Major Op. 65 - Moto Perpetuo (Presto)
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