SOMETHING BORROWEDTranscriptions for Cello and Piano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Chopin-Piatigorsky, Faure-Casals, Quilter-Buckle, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Ravel-Bazelaire, Rimsky-Korsakov, Pablo De Sarasate, Schubert-Cassado, Shostakovich-Atovm' Yan, Szymanowski-Kochanski
JONATHAN AASGAARD, cello
Ian Buckle, Piano
"Jonathan Aasgaard [has] a sweetness of tone and fleetness of technique that serves his...collection very well... very well done."
Ritter, Fanfare [January/February 2011]
"[Aasgaard plays] with an attractively rich and centered tone... The cellists get fine ringing support from their accompanists... you'll be entertained, I'm sure."
Passarrella, Audiophile Audition [December 2010]
“Altogether, it is a well-played program worth hearing for the taste and virtuosity of the cellist."
Moore, American Record Guide [November/December 2010]
"...an engaging program of transcriptions for cello and piano from other genres that show both what the cello can do at its idiomatic best, and the things it can do that you might not have thought about. The superb transcriptions – including many by such master cellists as Gaspar Cassado, Pablo Casals, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Leonard Rose – add luster to a largely (and humbly) borrowed recital repertoire... Buckle's own arrangements of three songs by Roger Quilter continue the tradition with transcriptions in which we can almost hear the song texts... did you know that the cello, which we generally think of as a slower, more stately instrument, can actually do almost anything a violin can do in the way of fast, virtuosic passages? We find it doing just that in two selections from the violinist's repertoire of Pablo de Sarasate, Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) – the blood-stirring final section is what I'm talking about - and Zapateado, a lively Spanish folk dance in which the footfalls were originally emphasized by dancers in wooden clogs. Aasgaard's cello even shines in the one piece where you wouldn't think it capable of keeping up with the violin, Rimsky's Korsakov's 'Flight of the Bumblebee.' The rich, dark sound of Aasgaard's instrument sounds to best advantage in two pieces that really bring out the soul of the instrument, Szymanowski's Adagio from King Roger and Kodaly's re-harmonized transcription of Bach's passionate Ach, was ist doch unser leben... Fauré's Aprés une rêve sounds so idiomatically perfect for the cello that it comes as a shock to realize that it, too, is an arrangement. Ditto the charming Allegretto grazioso by Franz Schubert... And with the transcriptions we have here of such familiar Ravel pieces as the Alborada del gracioso and Pièce en forme de Habanera, who needs the originals?"
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta [September 2010]
PROGRAM NOTESIn search of a coherent definition of musical transcription in the sense embodied by the works recorded here, the Oxford Dictionary of Music suggests: “Arrangement of musical composition for a performing medium other than original or for same medium but in more elaborate style”.
This is somewhat bland and in some way asks more questions than it offers answers. Why does it need to be more elaborate? Understandably, the range of possible purposes of such a transcription is not even explored in such a brief article. We can, however, be rather more explicit, especially when surveying a galaxy of such transcriptions and arrangements between the times of Mozart and today. Some composers are interested enough in their source-material to make it available in a new form – e.g. rendering piano pieces into orchestral colouring (as exemplified by Ravel). Other composers may be pupils, friends or admirers – think of the way that Rimsky-Korsakov lovingly remodeled the works of his friend Mussorgsky, only to have a succeeding generation of music-lovers be supercritical of how and why he did so! Alternatively, possibly someone from a later era and contrasting aesthetic standpoint may have a legitimate reason for revisiting the music of an earlier age – thus contemporary German composer Detlev Glanert in a role somewhere between orchestrator and composer ‘tackles’ Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge and produces a work with newly-composed postludes/ connections alongside a sympathetically Brahmsian orchestration. Hans Zender produces a notionally co-authored work with Schubert, making a chamber orchestra-sized version of Winterreise but with significant compositional interventions and deviations. In some ways this is merely the continuation of a line which was perhaps at its most explicit in the time of Liszt, a composer who made arrangements and adaptations of his own songs and countless others by Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven and others, at the same time producing new hybrid works with titles like Fantasia which melded operatic excerpts from composers like Mozart, Verdi and Wagner with his own formidable compositional apparatus.
Born in Oslo, Norway, JONATHAN AASGAARD studied the cello at the Barratt Dues School of Music in Oslo with Bjørn Solum and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A pupil of the late Prof. Leonard Stehn, Jonathan won all the cello and chamber music prizes and was a Gold Medal finalist. He received his recital Award in 1998 together with a medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Since receiving the debutant prize in 1996, Jonathan has enjoyed a busy concert career participating in festivals as diverse as Bergen, Prague, Washington, Halifax, the Manchester Cello Festival and BBC Lutoslawski Festival and performing the concerto repertoire with many of Norway’s leading orchestras. In 1999 Jonathan was appointed principal cello of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and made his debut with the orchestra and Junichi Hirokami in Haydn’s D major concerto. Since then, he has performed more than twenty-five works for cello and orchestra with the RLPO and has been a guest principal with several leading British and European orchestras. Chamber music performances have taken him around Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea and the United States; as a member of the Philion string trio, he has recorded works by Beethoven, Dohnányi and Martinu. His recording From Jewish Life (Avie) with the RLPO under Gerard Schwarz, which includes music for cello and orchestra by Bloch, Bruch, Schwarz and Diamond, has received great international acclaim. Jonathan is interested in a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Elliot Carter and has given several world premiers, working particularly with Robert Saxton and Simon Bainbridge as well as the Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim. His repertoire comprises many contemporary concertos from Henze and Lutoslawski to Tan Dun and Jon Lord. He gave the US premiere of concertos by Franz Neruda and Emil Hartman in New York and will premiere and record Carl Davis’ first Cello Concerto in 2011. Jonathan plays a cello made by Celeste Farotti in Milan 1926.
Ian Buckle enjoys a busy and varied freelance career, working as soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist and teacher. As concerto soloist, Ian has appeared alongside conductors Carl Davis, Elgar Howarth, Gerard Schwarz, Yan Pascal Tortelier and John Wilson, with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Opera North, Sinfonia Viva, Manchester Concert Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. His London debut came in 1996 with a recital at Wigmore Hall and he has given recitals in numerous British festivals including Buxton, Canterbury, Harrogate, Lake District Summer Music, Lichfield, the Ribble Valley International Piano Week and in the Bridgewater Hall for Manchester Midday Concerts. Committed to contemporary music, Ian has been the pianist in Ensemble 10:10 since the group was formed in 1997, and his piano duo with Richard Casey specializes in music of the last and current centuries. As an accompanist he is in constant demand, performing and recording with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United Kingdom and in Europe, recently appearing in the Beethoven festival in Bonn and the Festspiele Mecklenberg with the former BBC Young Musician winner, clarinetist Mark Simpson. Ian regularly plays piano in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and teaches at the Universities of Leeds and Liverpool. Recent CD recordings include the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, solo and chamber music by Humphrey Procter-Gregg, and a program of works for trombone and piano with Chris Houlding.
PROGRAMRavel arr. Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)
Alborada del Gracioso (from Miroirs)
Ravel arr. Paul Bazelaire (1886-1968)
Pièce en forme de Habanera
Fauré arr. Pablo Casals (1876-1973)
Après un rêve, Op.7 No.1
Sarasate arr. W. Thomas-Mifune (1941- )
Rachmaninoff arr. Leonard Rose (1918-1984)
Vocalise, Op.34 No.14
Rimsky-Korsakov arr. Leonard Rose
Flight of the Bumble Bee (from Tsar Saltan)
Shostakovich arr. L. Atovm’yan (1901-1973)
Adagio (from The Limpid Stream, Op.39)
Schubert arr.Gaspar Cassado (1897-1966)
Roger Quilter arr. Ian Buckle (1971- )
Now sleeps the crimson petal, Op.3 No.2
Go, lovely rose, Op.24 No.3
Music, when soft voices die, Op.25 No.5
Szymanowski arr. P.Kochanski (1887-1934)
Song of Roxana (from King Roger)
Chopin arr. Gregor Piatigorgsky (1903-1976)
Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. Posth.
Sarasate arr. Leonard Rose (1918-1984)
Zapateado Spanish Dance op.23 no.2
JS Bach arr. Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)
Ach was ist doch unser Leben (from Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele, BWV.743)