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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
In what sense Hayden's two concertos for cello – at least, the two that we know of as his, although he surely wrote more – are the fruit of a "Transfigured Night" is not clear, and isn't made more so by reading the booklet, although it is very interesting, historically speaking. But on the other hand, of course, Schönberg's Transfigured Night, still a classic of his tonal and post-Wagnerian works, clearly justifies the title. Hayden's concertos are played by the magnificent American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, herself a "privileged partner" of Trondheim Soloists who accompany her here (without a conductor) and give us Schönberg's version for string orchestra. Given that Trondheim is slap bang in the middle of Norway, we can well imagine how the night and the twilight – which lasts most of the day for several months every year – must be full of images of transfigurations to inspire our musicians! And let's recall briefly how this ensemble, founded in 1988, recorded the Four Seasons with Anne-Sophie Mutter in 1999, a veritable stepping stone to international fame. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
Following her successful debut on Decca with the cello concertos of Edward Elgar and Elliott Carter, Alisa Weilerstein serves up another touchstone of her repertoire, Dvorák's Cello Concerto in B minor. Even though this album offers a handful of pieces for cello and piano, which Weilerstein and pianist Anna Polonsky play with charm and sentiment, listeners will pay the most attention to the concerto, which is the program's raison d'être. Weilerstein's highly personal and intensely Romantic style of playing is well-suited to this concerto, which is big on emotion and poignant lyricism, and her long lines and rapt expression effectively carry the piece. The accompaniment by Jirí Belohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is vibrant and full of color and presence, though at no point is Weilerstein overwhelmed by the ensemble, thanks to the central microphone placement that is closely directed at the cello. Of course, such tight recording tends to expose the roughness of her multiple stops, and her entrance in the first movement is a bit startling. All the same, her rich timbres and passionate singing tone more than make up for any scratchiness one may encounter. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 23, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released September 1, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
After her acclaimed Pentatone debut with "Transfigured Night", Alisa Weilerstein returns with a complete recording of Bach’s Cello Suites. These pieces present the highest mountain to climb for any cellist, and one of the most transcendent and rewarding experiences for listeners alike. With his suites, Bach crafted - essentially without direct precedent - a body of solo cello music that forever defined the genre and brought the Baroque cello on par with its more popular cousin, the viola da gamba. Since Pablo Casals put them in the limelight again after 150 years of relative oblivion, Bach’s suites have become the alpha and omega for generations of cellists. To Weilerstein, the joy of this music - vibrant, contemporary, unquestionably alive - is the joy of discovery. Having heard and studied these pieces for years, she now entrusts her interpretation to the listener. © Pentatone
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Making her debut on Decca, Alisa Weilerstein presents three major works of the cello repertoire with Daniel Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Berlin. The star vehicle, naturally, is Edward Elgar's Concerto in E minor, which Weilerstein plays with commanding presence, rich tone, and emotional depth. Most listeners will be drawn primarily to this performance because of the piece's familiarity, and Weilerstein's charisma and passionate playing make it the album's main attraction. Yet listeners should give Weilerstein and Barenboim credit for following the Elgar with an important if not instantly recognizable or approachable modernist work, Elliott Carter's powerful Cello Concerto. Weilerstein is quite bold to play this intensely dramatic and angular composition, and while it's unlikely to appeal to the majority of fans who adore the Elgar, it deserves its place on the program for its seriousness and extraordinary displays of solo and orchestral writing. To close, Weilerstein plays Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, a Romantic work that returns the program to a mellow and melancholy mood and brings the CD to a satisfying close. Decca's reproduction is excellent, putting Weilerstein front and center with full resonance, but not leaving the vibrant accompaniment of the orchestra too far behind her. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 23, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
The American cellist Alisa Weilerstein was a Russian history major at Columbia University. Whether that gives her special insight into the music of Shostakovich is debatable, but whatever the case, this is an unusually strong reading of Shostakovich's pair of cello concertos, both emotionally intense works dating from the later part of his career. Weilerstein's strength is that she can do both the suppressed and the tortured sides of Shostakovich during this period. These can and do appear in the same work. The Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 107, has a certain slyly menacing quality in its outer movements that Weilerstein catches to the hilt, while she brings lyrical warmth to the broad "Moderato" slow movement. The Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 126, is a haunted, and in Weilerstein's hands, a haunting work. Sample the extraordinary opening movement, a 14-minute mixture of anguish, ghostly reminiscences, and epic despair. The finale has a false-start opening on a par with those in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Piano Sonata No. 29 finales, followed by a variation set that keeps breaking off for various crises. This may never be one of Shostakovich's real crowd favorites, but it receives what may be its most persuasive advocacy here. Agile, sensitive support from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under young star Pablo Heras-Casado, and superb Decca engineering at Munich's Herkulessaal are other attractions. A major Shostakovich concerto release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released September 1, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

There is no shortage of recordings of Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19, and Chopin's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65, but there aren't so many that put the two works together. Doing so reveals the degree to which Rachmaninov took Chopin as his model in his 1901 work: the big, contrapuntal opening movement with fascinating harmonic tipping points, the brisk scherzo and relatively short, songful slow movement, followed only by a more sweeping finale from Rachmaninov. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan offer something other than the rafter-ringing approach that is so often brought to Rachmaninov: the power is held in reserve for the climaxes. These two artists are not an ad hoc team, but are closely attuned to one another, and their restrained way with these works is especially effective in the Chopin: they tease out the contrapuntal details and respect the intricacy and relative intimacy of this work in a way that few other pairs do. The virtuoso display is left for the two Chopin encores that are often paired with the Cello Sonata: the arrangement of the Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 7, by the sonata's original player, August Franchomme, and the early Introduction et Polonaise brillante for cello and piano. Op. 3. With superb sound from Berlin's Teldex studio, this is a Chopin recording that will reward many listens. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Following her successful debut on Decca with the cello concertos of Edward Elgar and Elliott Carter, Alisa Weilerstein serves up another touchstone of her repertoire, Dvorák's Cello Concerto in B minor. Even though this album offers a handful of pieces for cello and piano, which Weilerstein and pianist Anna Polonsky play with charm and sentiment, listeners will pay the most attention to the concerto, which is the program's raison d'être. Weilerstein's highly personal and intensely Romantic style of playing is well-suited to this concerto, which is big on emotion and poignant lyricism, and her long lines and rapt expression effectively carry the piece. The accompaniment by Jirí Belohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is vibrant and full of color and presence, though at no point is Weilerstein overwhelmed by the ensemble, thanks to the central microphone placement that is closely directed at the cello. Of course, such tight recording tends to expose the roughness of her multiple stops, and her entrance in the first movement is a bit startling. All the same, her rich timbres and passionate singing tone more than make up for any scratchiness one may encounter. © TiVo