Album: Britten, Cello Symphony – Wispelwey / Kim / FSO (Onyx)

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The Independent Culture

Written for Rostropovich, Britten's Cello Symphony is a concerto in all but name.

Why the coyness? Rostropovich had premiered Shostakovich's first Cello Concerto only three years earlier, and Britten was an outsider in the orchestral world. Peter Wispelwey's refined tone makes a virtue of the work's uncertainties, negotiating its vacillations between introspection and display.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Seikyo Kim provide intelligent support but the triumph on this disc is Wispelwey's unaccompanied Cello Suite No 1.