Oistrakh's sound is warm and noble and each slide hits the spot
David Oistrakh Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (Kondrashin/USSR SO)
After hearing Oistrakh for the first time at 14, I wanted to quit the cello and switch to the violin. In this 1948 recording, his sound is warm and noble, each slide hits the spot and his vibrato is perfectly judged. His performance of the second movement is particularly expressive and tender.
Daniil Shafran Granados’s Cantos de España: Andaluza
I am a great admirer of this Russian cellist and his almost violinistic playing, and particularly love how he tackles Spanish music. The character and emotion he draws from his cello in this recording from the Historic Russian Archives box set is unbeatable.
Yo-Yo Ma Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello
Ma’s recording of this sonata on his Solo CD is passionate, energetic and technically superb. I like the concept of the whole album, which is a collection of new pieces for solo cello.
U2 Where The Streets Have No Name
One of my favourite rock albums is The Joshua Tree by U2, and listening to the band’s guitarist, The Edge, has inspired me to use effects pedals in 2Cellos performances. I love the delay effect at the beginning of this song.
Yo-Yo Ma Appalachia Waltz by Mark O’Connor
This is another track from Ma’s Solo album, and it is a tricky piece to play. It’s a reworking for solo cello of a folk-inspired composition for violin, viola and double bass. Ma does a fantastic job of bringing all the harmonies and voices to life in an emotional, tender and lyrical performance.
This article was first published in the July 2011 issue of The Strad. To download a digital edition go here.
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