Klassik Heute 10/10/10 December 2012; Limelight Magazine, November 2012: "In one of the most singularly gorgeous recordings to have come across my desk in recent months, Zürich-born cellist Christian Poltéra and British pianist Kathryn Stott explore some of Dvorák’s greatest melodies in new transcriptions by Poltéra"; Music Web International, March 2013: "This is a super disc. The sound is magnificent - I listened to the disc as a CD - and the performances of both pieces are very fine indeed".
Antonín Dvořák’s path to his famous cello concerto was long and far from direct. Certainly he had used the instrument to great effect in his orchestral music, but for a long time he doubted its suitability as a solo instrument. To some extent, this disc charts the process of the composer towards the recognition of the full capabilities of the cello, as it includes chamber works that Dvořák composed directly for cello and piano, or arranged for the combination.
The earliest of these, although not published until long after the composer’s death, was the Polonaise in A major, a piece lyrical and virtuosic in turns. Some thirteen years later, in 1892, Dvořák composed the Rondo in G minor and arranged Silent Woods, originally a piano duet. Shortly after he also made versions for cello and orchestra of both pieces, almost as if preparing himself for the concerto, which he began writing in 1894.
Dvořák’s own practice of arranging existing works has encouraged Christian Poltéra to select a number of the composer’s violin pieces and songs, performing them here in his own transcriptions. These include the Violin Sonatina, from the same time as the Rondo and Silent Woods and originally intended for Dvořák’s own children. Among the songs are Lasst mich allein, which Dvořák quotes it in the slow movement of the cello concerto, and the ever-popular Songs My Mother Taught Me, as well as Rusalka’s Song to the Moon, as eloquent a declaration of love as can be, even when performed without words. Christian Poltéra and Kathryn Stott are regular partners in chamber music, and have previously recorded music by Honegger and Frank Martin together, on discs that have received distinctions such as Diapason d'or, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and ‘10/10’ on web site Classics Today.com