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The Cello in Wartime

Catalogue numberBIS-2312 SACD
Release date2017-10-10
Orig. sample rate96000Hz
Total time65:38

As the centenaries of various events of the First World War are being commemorated, we are reminded of the great battles and the large-scale suffering. To imagine what day-to-day life may have been like in the trenches in Flanders is more difficult, however, 100 years later and with no living survivors of the war to bear witness. Poems and paintings can give us some idea – but, as this disc from Steven Isserlis proves, so can music! The main, more conventional section of the programme is a selection of cello works composed around the time of the war, by composers from three of the countries involved in it: France, Britain and Austria.

This is followed by something rather more unusual, however, as Isserlis exchanges his ‘Marquis de Corberon’ Stradivarius for an instrument that was once played and heard in the trenches of Ypres. Harold Triggs, the owner of this so-called ‘trench cello’, brought it with him to Flanders from England – other soldiers, on both sides of the conflict, constructed their own violins, cellos or flutes on site, from ammunition boxes, pipes and whatever else they could get hold of. These instruments thus become a highly moving testimony to every man’s need for beauty and solace and joy, even in the middle of a battlefield. With the delicate support of Connie Shih on the piano (and in fact even pianos could be found in the trenches, even if not concert grands!), Isserlis and his trench cello transport us, for a brief moment, to a trench near Ypres during a quiet spell between skirmishes, with soldiers resting, writing home, playing cards – and with the help of the music dreaming of a life elsewhere.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 15.72
Extra material for download
  Composer: Debussy, Claude
  Sonata for Cello and Piano, L. 144 10:28
01 I. Prologue. Lent, sostenuto e molto risoluto 04:07 $ 1.01 USD
02 II. Serenade. Modérément animé 02:59 $ 0.71 USD
03 III. Finale. Animé, léger et nerveux 03:22 $ 0.84 USD
  Composer: Bridge, Frank
  Sonata for Cello and Piano, H. 125 23:01
04 I. Allegro ben moderato 10:35 $ 2.57 USD
05 II. Adagio non troppo - Molto allegro agitato - Tempo I 12:26 $ 3.04 USD
  Composer: Fauré, Gabriel
  Sonata No.1 in D minor for cello and piano, Op. 109 18:30
06 I. Allegro 05:27 $ 1.32 USD
07 II. Andante 07:05 $ 1.70 USD
08 III. Final. Allegro comodo 05:58 $ 1.46 USD
  Composer: Webern, Anton
  Drei kleine Stücke, Op. 11 02:49
09 I. Mäßige achtel 01:01 $ 0.25 USD
10 II. Sehr bewegt 00:19 $ 0.09 USD
11 III. Äußerst ruhig 01:29 $ 0.39 USD
  Composer: Saint-Saëns, Camille
  from The Carnival of the Animals
12 The Swan 03:35 $ 0.89 USD
  Composer: Parry, C. H. H.
13 Jerusalem 02:19 $ 0.56 USD
  Composer: Novello, Ivor
14 Keep the Home-Fires Burning 02:02 $ 0.52 USD
  Composer: Traditional
  God save the king
15 God Save the King 00:50 $ 0.36 USD
  Album total 65:38
CelloIsserlis, Steven
PianoShih, Connie
ComposerBridge, Frank
Debussy, Claude
Fauré, Gabriel
Novello, Ivor
Parry, C. H. H.
Saint-Saëns, Camille
Webern, Anton
Trench celloIsserlis, Steven

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