Try Zuill Bailey/Awadagin Pratt, Brahms works for Cello and Piano on Telarc. Bailey's solo Bach Cello concertos are also interesting. Great recordings and great performance; I've seen him perform in person also.
13 responses Add your response
Wig. Nice system! Here are some of my favorites from the last year each good both in terms of both performance and recording quality. Hope this helps.
J.S. Bach Sonaten and Partiten, Nathan Milstien solo violin
Mozart Sinfonia Concertante & Haydn, Rachel Poder Hybrid SACD
Brahms Cello Sonatas, Steven Isserlis, Hyperion
Max Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Rachel Barton on violin
Beethoven Complete Works for Piano and Cello, Bailey
Vivaldi, La Stravaganza, Rachel Podger
Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Vadim Repin
Beethoven The Late String Quartets, Emerson String Quartet
So many great recordings. If you absolutely love the sound of the cello, you can wallow in it via Villalobos' "Bachianas Brasilieras No. 1," written for a cello ensemble. Delightful Latinate melodies to boot.
The best recording of the Bach Cello Suites is, regrettably, not in modern sound. But the set by Pablo Casals is a jaw-dropper, with Slava Rostropovich's EMI set not too far behind.
The Beethoven piano/cello sonatas, featuring Richter and Rostropovich are also amazing but again, not demonstration-quality sonics, which has always been fine by me, but others might feel differently about such matters.
Cello is difficult, though. Some like Yo Yo Ma, others find his sound kinda wimpy, and want some meat to the playing, as you get from Casals and Rostropovich. Pierre Fournier is a nice midway point, and as Rex44 notes, Kim Kashkashian is indeed a winner. Also on ECM, so the sound quality is extraordinary.
Totally agree with Kevvwill on Casals, have some on vinyl and no one else for me comes close.
Rostopovich on Dvorak's cello concerto is exceptional
Jacqueline De Pre for Elgar's cello concerto
Steven Isserliss is also a favorite, he has a CD called Cello World with a lot of small pieces as well as some friends on it that might interest you, check out Amazon for short previews
One of my all-time favorite recordings is Slava Rostropovich playing Britten's cello suites 1 & 2. He's good playing anything by Britten, who wrote all his cello compositions with Rostropovich in mind. He also did some great duets with Britten on piano doing Schubert and Schumann. As others have noted above, the sound quality isn't state of the art, but it isn't bad either and you won't care.