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Derek Lim
The Flying Inkpot, November 2004

"Several transfers exist of these recordings, the most readily available being the EMI References release, but this latest one by Mark Obert-Thorn are easily the best, the sound quality of the recordings belying their age. ... Jacques Thibaud's refined tone acts as a foil to Pablo Casals' rough-and-ready playing and together they create a unique drama, the duo playing off each other conversationally. Their ensemble is impeccable while maintaining individual character in their contributions. A strong sense of structure and logic informs this performance of the concerto; the result is a totally absorbing account of the first movement, a problematic one that in other's interpretations sometimes comes off as rambling. ... And despite all the distortion that even Mark Obert-Thorn couldn't get rid of, how beautiful the orchestra sounds. Cortot's conducting is suave and involved, cushioning the proceedings. ... Some degree of surface noise is still present in the Dvorak, but the ear quickly adapts; the sound is eminently listenable.
The interpretation on the other hand...! ... What comes across so vividly is the honesty and sincerity of the music-making and Casals'
poetic and eloquent performance of the solo part. So many recordings have been made of the concerto since, but the fact that this recording still has something to offer speaks volumes.

This disc is well worth the asking price and no-one vaguely in these stellar performers, or this repertoire should hesitate. Three cheers to Obert-Thorn for these brand-new transfers and to Naxos for putting out the disc so inexpensively."



RD
ClassicalCDReview.com, April 2001

"At Naxos' basement-budget price, this is one more treasure painstakingly preserved that anyone with open and adaptable ears can cherish as some of us always have-even when we've not heard it for years, even decades-but never before in sound as alive as this. Essential for any historical library that doesn't stop with stereo."



David Cairns
, March 2001

"Casals's glorious Dvorak concerto, recorded in Prague in 1937, sounds as good as ever, or, rather, better: Naxos's remastering genius, Mark Obert-Thorn, has produced an amazingly rounded, detailed sonority. The great cellist sings this lovely work as perhaps nobody has, before or since, but his performance is, if possible, even more notable for its pulsating energy: listen to the rhythmic spring of the soloist's first entry. Casals's famous trio partners. Thibaud and Cortot, combine with him in an earlier (1929) recording of the Brahms double concerto, conducted by Cortot...full of lively music-making, in which Thibaud's silvery tone is an ideal foil for the cellist's burnished sound."






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7:23:50 PM, 17 April 2014
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