In spring 2009 Pieter Wispelwey asked me to be involved in an adventurous project. He and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra planned to perform the Cello Symphony by Benjamin Britten that they decided to record for Onyx Classics.
Seikyo Kim, who has been appointed as the orchestra’s new chief conductor, conducted the orchestra during three concerts of which the last one was recorded for the CD.
The live recording with additional patch sessions took place at ‘de Singel’ in Antwerp where an enthusiastic audience experienced the deep emotions of the Cello Symphony. The piece has a very dark mood but also a strong sense of hope and the desire for salvation.
“This was my first confrontation with his concerto (because of course that’s what it is) and it was a profound and gratifying shock. For me now, this masterpiece stands among the very best in the cello concerto repertoire.”
“From the menacing darkness of the opening to the light of the orgiastic closing hymn, the contrasts in this piece are phenomenally stark. In his first Suite for solo cello Britten demonstrates the same generosity. His inspiration leaves us with an adventurously structured piece, almost a series of fables, that surprises, impresses and moves us.”
(Pieter Wispelwey, from the sleave notes on www.onyxclassics.com)[flv:http://www.daanvanaalst.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Wispelweij.flv http://www.daanvanaalst.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/ONYX4058_225-e1283404979721.jpg 500 300]
(this video is used with kind permission of filmit.be)
In order to create a complete CD program Pieter chose the First Suite for Solo Cello by Benjamin Britten to accompany the Cello Symphony. We chose the Mennonite Church in Deventer to be the recording venue for this solo recording.
Recording venue: De Singel, Antwerpen (Cello Symphony) / Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer (Cello Solo Suite)
Recording Producers: Daan van Aalst, Pieter Wispelwey
Recording Engineers: Johan Kennivé (Cello Symphony) and Daan van Aalst (Cello Solo Suite)
Editing: Daan van Aalst