Cello - the recordings on BIS of cellist Franz Helmerson recording at Castle Wik of the solo cello works of Bach, Britten, Kodaly, Crumb and Hindemith. On vinyl:
BIS LP 65
BIS LP 25
BIS LP 5
BIS LP 65
BIS LP 25
BIS LP 5
Bach, Bach, Bach...
On cello, Rostropovich did a wonderful DVD explaining something about each suite. The music was played in an ancient cathedral, bare rock walls, etc.
However my current favorite for these suites is Bylsma on a Baroque or Stradivarius monkey coffin with some sheep guts for strings and some bow strung with rope taken from a Spanish Galeon (I might be a bit fuzzy on these details). I don't know if it sounds like it was recorded in an old castle or a new tin cup, but I don't care, it sounds so wonderful that I have not been able to do critical listening to it.
For violin, once again I don't know if it sounds so cavernous but the Grumiaux performance is well known. Like some beautiful ladies that I have met, it's probably too forward but what are you going to do...
James Ehnes, Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin. This is a rare example of top notch playing and top notch recording. It is not mic'ed too close. Ehnes does not sound like he is jumping around all over the room, as one hears when the soloist is mic'ed too close. It is dead center. This recording and performance is in a class by itself, and stands well above Hahn, Millstein, Podger, St. John, and Fischer. Ehnes plays the sweetest Strad that I have heard live. This recording is almost as good as hearing him in person. Just my opinion, but he and Hahn are 1a and 1b in terms of being the greatest living violinist.
For cello, I second the Zellner Bach suites mentioned above. Really, really superb. Very special recording.
I recommend any of Tianwa Yang's Sarasate recordings. Here's a good place to start:
A few more recommendations:
Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas - Kremer/Argerich on DG
Szymanowski: Violin Concertos - Kulka on EMI (not Naxos)
Pärt: Fratres - Kremer on ECM
Heifetz plays Sibelius, Prokofiev, and Glazunov on an RCA Hybrid SACD.
To me, the most brilliant piece of music ever composed for the violin solo is Bach's Chaconne (5th movement of Partita in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004)), performed by many.
However to me Back (nor any of the other "virtuoso" stuff mentioned here), is not "spooky almost make you want to cry" music, whereas Arvo Part is.
The most otherworldy, trancedental "music with violin" are the slow movements of the late Beethoven string quartets:
Opus 127: String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major (1825)
Opus 130: String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major (1825)
Opus 131: String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor (1826)
Opus 132: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor (1825)
Opus 133: Große Fuge in B flat major for string quartet (1826), originally the finale to op. 130
Opus 135: String Quartet No. 16 in F major (1826)
Violinist..and really kind of a 'pop star', appeared on the Chris Botti Boston DVD...she's a great performer, and good fiolinist with great stylings.
The work with Botti is top notch...I think that you'll like her...that and she's really, really sexy in the black evening gown...