Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bruch (2001)

Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Bruch

Pieter Wispelwey

This was the first commercially produced SACD hybrid super audio on the market. In June of 2000, I sat in one room recording in pcm and the research team of Philips were in the room next door taking my analogue signal directly from my mixer. I first released my pcm version in the fall of 2000. The Pyramix at that time was very primitive but thanks to the Phliips team who worked around the clock to produce the software, we were able to get this DSD version out at the beginning of 2001. 

Jared Sacks

SAINT-SAENS TCHAIKOVSKY BRUCH I still find it striking that when we are asked for a typically romantic cello concerto, we think immediately of Dvorok, or even of Elgar, even though these works were composed respectively in 1895 and 1919, while the truly romantic cello concerti are actually those by Schumann (1850), Saint-Saitns (1870), and Tchaikovsky (1876). It would appear, then, that there are considerable misapprehensions about the nature of romanticism and the 19th century. In any case, the latter three works do not present the cello as a primarily autumnal and nostalgic instrument Singing yes, expressive, yes, but also agile and flexible. Moreover, the soft spot that I have for these pieces lies in the intriguing counterpoint of passion and ironic elegance, enthusiasm and civilization, a style in which, on one hand, aristocracy and on the other, sensuality and passion, play into each other's hands. Under the surface, feelings of fear, regret, protest and impossible longing play their roles, but the balance between intoxication and discipline predominates. A simple example of that balance can be seen in the opening 8 measures of the famous theme from Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations. A sort of formal decorum alternates every 2 measures with emotionalism, the other supporting pillar of the composition. The symbiosis in a nutshell. A good example of the deceptiveness of outward appearances is the close of the central movement of the Saint-Saltns. Unexpectedly, diverse elements from the minuet theme take on new and ultimately dark and foreboding forms, and suddenly we are engulfed in psychological quicksand. Quickly the wrinkles are ironed out again, but that moment of magic will remain in the listener's unconscious. We hope that you will excuse us for adding two unmistakably late-romantic works to SaintSans and the 'Rococo and invite you to see the combination of styles in the context of counterpoint and polemic contrast Moreover, a bit of cellistic nostalgia never hurts. Pieter Wispelwey

Read more

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.

Read more

Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bruch (2001)

Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Bruch

Pieter Wispelwey

    The Absolute sound

The Best in New-Format Software October/November 2004


prachtige solopartijen in Saint Saens cello concert () () de verrichtingen van onze landgenoot en het orkest zijn excellent. Wispelwey is een meester die de bravoura van zijn super technische brille als het ware spelenderwijs integreert in een prachtige, warme en toch lichte, transparante en tegelijk rijk genuanceerde toonvorming. Wispelwey behoort tot de internationale top van de "cellistiek"!!


alsof Pieter Wispelwey in je kamer zit" Limburgs Dagblad "Cantabile is Pieter Wispelweys middle name" ....een cellist, die de kunst van het zangerig spelen tot grote hoogten heeft verheven, profileert de melodiek van Tchaikovkys ...Andante opus 11 met een inlevingsvermogen waarvoor termen tekort schieten ...Saint-Sans is bij Wispelwey en Sepec een meester van feerie en eerlijk romantiek.


opnieuw een cd die de schoonheidsprijs verdient. () () wat Wispelwey op vier snaren presteert is goochelen en toveren tegelijk. Zijn kwispelende virtuozendom gaat vergezeld van een sensualteit die zelfs versteende harten moet kunnen verwarmen.

    Gooi- en Eemlander

Magnifieke uitvoeringen waarin hij zich met rijkgekleurde toon, verbazingwekkende techniek en intense muzikaliteit een boeiend verteller toont.


Man glaubt wirklich dabei zu sein, wenn Wispelwey mit feinem, nichts zu dicken Strich seinem wunderbar kantablen, schlank und farbig klingenden Instrument die schnsten Zaubertone entlockt. () () Zum ersten Mal versprte ich das unbeschreibliche Gefhl, wirkliche Konzertsaal-Atmosphre in den eigenen vier Wnden zu erleben.

    Klassik Heute

Pieter Wispelwey ist ein Groer, und so unprtentis-wahrhaftig, so klassich-uneitel, so diszipliniert-sinnlich hrt man den Zyklys nicht off.


Pieter Wispelwey is impeccable. His bowing is seamless, his reflexes lightning-quick, and his unruffled tone nicely modulated.

Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bruch (2001)

Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Bruch

Pieter Wispelwey

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: DCS DSD AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: B+W 803 diamond series
Mastering Equipment: Jared Sacks
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks, Pieter Wispelwey
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks, Onno Scholte
Recording location: Bremen Germany
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: AudioLab Holland

Quality & Channel Selection
Select Quality and Channels to calculate the price below More info


  • DXD
  • 64
  • 128
  • 256
  • 512
This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
With an active NativeDSD Plus Subscription you have access to all lower DSD rates after purchase. Learn more.
Album Download duration price
16501: Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bruch
00:55:04   Select quality & channels above
Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor op. 33 - Allegro non troppo
00:05:45   Select quality & channels above
Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor op. 33 - Allegretto con moto
00:04:29   Select quality & channels above
Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor op. 33 - Allegro non troppo
00:08:31   Select quality & channels above
Andante Cantabile op. 11
00:06:56   Select quality & channels above
Variations on a Rococo Theme op. 33
00:18:36   Select quality & channels above
Kol Nidrei op. 47
00:10:47   Select quality & channels above

User Reviews

Other albums from this label