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Cello Suite No 3, Op 87

composer
early spring 1971 by April; first performed by dedicatee Mstislav Rostroprovich at the Maltings, Snape on 21 December 1974; first three movements from Tchaikovsky's folk-song arrangements, fourth movement from Kontakion

 
The Suite No 3, completed in the spring of 1971 but not performed by its dedicatee until December 1974 owing to severe restrictions on his movements imposed by the Soviet authorities in the wake of his friendship with the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, pays tribute to Rostropovich’s Russian heritage in its format of a set of variations on four traditional Russian themes. The first three are taken from Tchaikovsky’s volumes of folk song arrangements (‘Under the apple tree’, ‘Autumn’ and ‘The grey eagle’) and the fourth is the Kontakion, or hymn to the departed. The final suite works in reverse, as it were, by delaying the statement of these themes until the very end, after all the variations have been heard. Although the movements follow one another without a break, each variation is a self-contained character piece. After the initial Introduzione, there follows a Marcia, Canto, Barcarola, Dialogo, Fuga, Recitativo, Moto perpetuo and concluding Passacaglia.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2013

La Suite nº 3, achevée au printemps 1971, ne fut jouée par son dédicataire qu’en décembre 1974 en raison de sévères restrictions dans ses déplacements imposées par les autorités soviétiques à cause de son amitié avec l’écrivain dissident Alexandre Soljénitsyne. C’est un hommage à l’héritage russe de Rostropovitch qui prend la forme de variations sur quatre thèmes traditionnels russes. Les trois premiers sont empruntés aux volumes d’arrangements de chansons traditionnelles de Tchaïkovski («Sous le pommier», «Automne» et «L’Aigle gris») et le quatrième est le Kontakion ou hymne aux défunts. La dernière suite fonctionne en sens inverse, en repoussant l’exposition de ces thèmes jusqu’à la fin, après toutes les variations. Bien que les mouvements s’enchaînent sans interruption, chaque variation est une pièce de caractère indépendante. Après l’Introduzione initiale, viennent une Marcia, Canto, Barcarola, Dialogo, Fuga, Recitativo, Moto perpetuo et une Passacaglia finale.

extrait des notes rédigées par Mervyn Cooke © 2013
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Die Suite Nr. 3 wurde im Frühling 1971 fertiggestellt, allerdings erst im Dezember 1974 von ihrem Widmungsträger uraufgeführt, da dieser aufgrund seiner Freundschaft zu dem regimekritischen Schriftsteller Alexander Solschenizyn starken Reiseeinschränkungen unterlag. Mit dem Werk zollte Britten der russischen Herkunft Rostropowitschs Tribut, indem er hier einen Variationenzyklus über vier traditionelle russische Themen anfertigte. Die ersten drei stammen aus Tschaikowskys Ausgaben von Volkslied-Arrangements („Unterm grünen Apfelbaum“, „Herbst“ und „Der graue Adler“) und die vierte ist die Kontakion, oder Hymne an die Verstorbenen. Die letzte Suite ist sozusagen umgekehrt angelegt, da diese Themen erst ganz zum Schluss, nach allen Variationen, erklingen. Obwohl die Sätze ohne Pause aufeinander folgen, ist jede Variation ein in sich geschlossenes Charakterstück. Nach der Introduzione zu Beginn folgen Marcia, Canto, Barcarola, Dialogo, Fuga, Recitativo, Moto perpetuo und, zum Schluss, eine Passacaglia.

aus dem Begleittext von Mervyn Cooke © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Recordings

Britten: Cello Suites
Studio Master: SIGCD336Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Britten: Cello Suites
CDA66274Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted
Britten: Cello Symphony, Cello Sonata & Cello Suites
Studio Master: CDA67941/22CDsStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Movement 1: Introduzione: Lento
Track 15 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [2'01] 2CDs
Track 15 on CDA66274 [2'17] Archive Service
Track 15 on SIGCD336 [1'50] Download only
Movement 2: Marcia: Allegro
Track 16 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'38] 2CDs
Track 16 on CDA66274 [1'45] Archive Service
Track 16 on SIGCD336 [1'28] Download only
Movement 3: Canto: Con moto
Track 17 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'15] 2CDs
Track 17 on CDA66274 [1'19] Archive Service
Track 17 on SIGCD336 [1'01] Download only
Movement 4: Barcarola: Lento
Track 18 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'30] 2CDs
Track 18 on CDA66274 [1'22] Archive Service
Track 18 on SIGCD336 [1'15] Download only
Movement 5: Dialogo: Allegretto
Track 19 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'12] 2CDs
Track 19 on CDA66274 [1'30] Archive Service
Track 19 on SIGCD336 [1'40] Download only
Movement 6: Fuga: Andante espressivo
Track 20 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [2'33] 2CDs
Track 20 on CDA66274 [2'39] Archive Service
Track 20 on SIGCD336 [2'09] Download only
Movement 7: Recitativo: Fantastico
Track 21 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'07] 2CDs
Track 21 on CDA66274 [1'16] Archive Service
Track 21 on SIGCD336 [1'02] Download only
Movement 8: Moto perpetuo: Presto
Track 22 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [0'49] 2CDs
Track 22 on CDA66274 [1'02] Archive Service
Track 22 on SIGCD336 [0'50] Download only
Movement 9: Passacaglia: Lento solenne
Track 23 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [8'52] 2CDs
Track 23 on CDA66274 [8'25] Archive Service
Movement 9a: Passacaglia: Lento solenne
Track 23 on SIGCD336 [3'37] Download only
Movement 9b: Passacaglia: Molto simplice
Track 24 on SIGCD336 [3'26] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA66274 track 17

Canto: Con moto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-88-27417
Duration
1'19
Recording date
6 December 1987
Recording venue
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Thomas Daye
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: Cello Suites (CDA66274)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: April 1988
    Archive Service
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