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Feuermann In Concert - CC1013



Emanuel Feuermann

Franz Rupp, Theodore Saidenberg piano
New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra / Smallens
Steven Isserlis

Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1 Op.33
Bach Adagio; Sarabande & Bourrées from Suite lll
Fauré Après un Rêve
Popper Papillon
Enhanced Cd Includes 1939 Film of Dvorak Rondo and Popper Spinning Song

Originally a live broadcast, this electrifying performance of Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto, the only recording of the work by Feuermann, has been re-mastered and completed with the aid of the cellist Steven Isserlis and a certain amount of technical wizardry. Included as an encore is the only recording of unaccompanied Bach that Feuermann ever made. In addition there are previously un-heard takes of works by Bach and Fauré. Also included on this enhanced Cd is the only existing film footage of Feuermann in a short film made in 1939 featuring two popular works from this great cellist's repertoire.

As many Feuermann enthusiasts will know, this dazzling live performance from 1939 has remained unheard by the public due largely to the fact that the original  suffers from a 20 second break in the recorded sound during the last movement. Now with the expertise of Steven Isserlis (who plays the 'de Munck' Stradivarius used by Feurmann) and some engineering wizardry, Cello Classics has been able to 'fill' the gap so that the performance can be enjoyed uninterrupted. This was achieved by a very small (5 seconds) insert of new recorded material and the re-use of an existing section to cover the rest of the missing music. Of course it is an outrageous thing to do, to tamper with an original performance of such stature! How can one justify this? Well, it is possible, by omitting the inserted material, to listen to the original performance in its unedited state, if the listener so wishes. A great deal of care was taken to ensure that the spirit of the original is preserved as much as possible. Of course any keen eared listener will detect the work done, but the object was to allow a complete hearing of the work and it is felt that this has been achieved.

The other major attraction on this new Enhanced CD is the very rare film that was made also in 1939. As the only footage of its kind we can at last watch the great cellist perform two of his popular show pieces,  Dvorak's Rondo and Popper's Spinning Song, and marvel at the spectacular bowing technique and Feuermann's phenomenal command of the instrument. The film can be viewed by placing the CD into a PC or Mac computer.

The rest of the CD is given to other short rarities - previously unheard takes of works by Bach and Fauré plus the Popper Papillon that was never released in Feuermann's lifetime.

Sound Clips (mp3):
Saint-Saëns Concerto - first movement excerpt
Popper Papillon excerpt

There are notes by Annette Morreau and also by the American collector, cellist and aficionado, Terry King.

Annette Morreau's book "Emmanuel Feuermann" is available from Yale University Press.

Audio Playing time 38 mins. / Video Playing time  7 mins.

"As historical CDs go, this one has to be among the most significant
that we’ve had in the last decade"
Gramophone October 2005