℗ © 2014 2xHD
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Wendy Warner, cello
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
The years immediately following the end of World War Two saw a consolidation of the success that Samuel Barber had encountered in the concert hall with his Symphony No. 1 and Essay for Orchestra. While the romantic and expressive traits that inform these works remained at the heart of his idiom, the Cello Concerto and Medea are marked by an increasingly sophisticated use of the orchestra, as well as a greater harmonic stringency and emotional variety.
The Cello Concerto was written for Raya Garbousova. The short score was completed in November 1945, coinciding with Barber's discharge from the air force, with orchestration taking until December. The premiere, by Garbousova, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Sergey Koussevitzky, took place on April 5th, 1946. Despite initial success, and the receipt of the Fifth Annual Award of the Music Critics Circle of New York, the concerto has established itself only at the margins of the repertoire. Barber revised the score prior to his recording with Zara Nelsova in 1950, and made minor changes thereafter.
Recorded May 3-4, 1999 and May 11-12, 2000 at Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow, Scotland.
Producer: Andrew Walton
Recording engineer: Tony Faulkner
Mastering engineer: René Laflamme