Album review: Alisa Weilerstein, Daniel Barenboim, Elgar, Carter: Cello Concertos (Decca)

 

Virtuosi seem to know what they must do from an early age: in Alisa Weilerstein's case, her first “cello” was made from a cereal box and a toothbrush, when she was just two. Since then, she's played with conductors such as Mehta, Dudamel and, here, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

The concertos here pair a lifelong favourite with one indicating her modern leanings. She grasps the Elgar from the opening of the Adagio Moderato and stamps her character upon it. The Carter, meanwhile, offers a showcase in how to deal with the orchestra's sudden astringent tone-clusters and exclamatory percussion without ceding command: the progress from the Tranquillo to the Allegro fantastico is, well, fantastico.

Download: Elgar Cello Concerto; Carter Cello Concerto

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