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Children's Cello

Composer Various Composers
Performer Stephen Hough
Steven Isserlis
Catalogue Number BIS-1562 CD
EAN 7318590015629
Format CD
Release date Apr 2006
Total time 81'15

Double 5 star review, BBC Music Magazine
Instrumental Disc of the Month, Classic FM Magazine

In this recital of known and unknown gems from the repertoire for aspiring cellists, Steven Isserlis and Stephen Hough make full use of their consummate musicianship in carving each of the 30 tracks into beautiful miniatures. Pieces that cello students have played – and their teachers (not to mention parents) have heard – over and over again stand out as fresh as if they were composed for this occasion.
The programme ranges progressively from Ludwig Lebell’s Berceuse, which only employs open strings, to Cassadó’s Requiebros, described in Isserlis’s own liner notes as 'something holding real challenges for the young cellist (and indeed for the fast-aging one!)'.
It’s not only the level of technical difficulties that varies: the styles are almost as many as the pieces themselves. A number of different idioms – English, French, Hungarian and Israeli, Victorian, Baroque and contemporary – are all conveyed in accents that ring completely true.
This unique disc was inspired by after-dinner serenades at Steven Isserlis’s home, where his son Gabriel would perform his current cello assignments, sometimes accompanied by Hough. (Gabriel’s contribution to the enterprise is attested to by the final section on the disc, Gabriel’s Corner, made up of works composed for him by, among others, Isserlis and Hough themselves.) Isserlis writes: 'Eventually, we decided that we wanted to play some of the pieces ourselves, for our own sakes as much as for those of the children we were hoping to inspire – and thus this album was born.' The performers’ enjoyment certainly shines through during the full 81 minutes of the disc – an enjoyment that will be shared by every listener, whatever his or her connection to the noble art of cello playing. A bonus, in the form of actor Simon Callow narrating a ghost story with a twist over the sound effects of Steven Isserlis’s The Haunted House, makes the disc a truly special experience.
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  Ludwig Lebell
01 Berceuse Orientale 1'47
  Sheila Nelson
02 Mad as a Hatter 0'33
  Alfred Earnshaw
03 Tarantella 1'22
  Joachim Stutchewsky
04 Kinnereth (tune by Haninah Karchevsky) 2'22
  Joachim Stutchewsky
05 Wanderer’s Song (Oriental Melody) 2'36
  Adam Carse
06 A Merry Dance 1'47
  Francis Purcell Warren
07 A Sunday Evening in Autumn 2'22
  Francis Purcell Warren
08 Cradle Song 1'09
  John Graves
09 The Swans glide on the Bishop’s Palace moat 1'51
  William Henry Squire
10 Danse Rustique 2'41
  Luigi Boccherini
11 Minuet (arr. Goltermann) 3'43
  Gavin Bryars
12 With Miriam by the River 3'30
  Arnold Trowell
13 Gavotte from 12 Easy Pieces 1'48
  Jean Sibelius
14 Lulu Waltz 0'48
  George Dyson
15 Melody 2'38
  Frank Bridge
16 Spring Song 2'24
  Amy Beach
17 Berceuse  3'06
  Gabriel Prosper Marie
18 La Cinquantaine 3'30
  Georg Goltermann
19 La Foi 3'33
  Francis Poulenc
20 Serenade (arr. Maurice Gendron) 1'55
  Joseph Tuby
21 Serenade 2'31
  Gabriel Fauré
22 Berceuse 3'47
  David Popper
23 Gavotte, Op. 23 4'39
  Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
24 Song Without Words, Op. 109 4'39
  Gaspar Cassadó
25 Requiebros 4'52
  Howard Blake
26 Archangel’s Lullaby 1'31
  Olli Mustonen
27 Frogs Dancing on Water-Lilies 3'07
  Stephen Hough
28 Angelic Song 2'12
  Stephen Hough
29 Angelic Dance 1'29
  Steven Isserlis
30 The Haunted House 4'03
  Album total 81'15
CelloIsserlis, Steven
PianoHough, Stephen
ComposerBeach, Amy
Blake, Howard
Boccherini, Luigi
Bridge, Frank
Bryars, Gavin
Carse, Adam
Cassadó, Gaspar
Dyson, George
Earnshaw, Alfred
Fauré, Gabriel
Goltermann, Georg
Graves, John
Hough, Stephen
Isserlis, Steven
Lebell, Ludwig
Marie, Gabriel Prosper
Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix
Mustonen, Olli
Nelson, Sheila
Popper, David
Poulenc, Francis
Sibelius, Jean
Squire, William Henry
Stutchewsky, Joachim
Trowell, Arnold
Tuby, Joseph
Warren, Francis Purcell
NarratorCallow, Simon

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