Accompanied by the Amsterdam-based Concertgebouw Kamerorkest (Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra), the German/French classical cellist Nicolas Altstaedt performs Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129. Recorded at the Sunday Morning Concert on May 29, 2016, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The Sunday Morning Concert is a concert by NPO Radio 4.
The work was completed in a period of only two weeks, between 10 October and 24 October 1850, shortly after Schumann became the music director at Düsseldorf.
The concerto was never played in Schumann’s lifetime. It was premiered on 9 June 1860, four years after his death, at the Leipzig Conservatory in a concert in honor of the 50th anniversary of Schumann’s birth, with Ludwig Ebert as soloist.
The piece is in three movements, which follow each other without a pause:
- Nicht zu schnell (A minor)
- Langsam (F major)
- Sehr lebhaft (A minor – A major)
Instrumentation: solo cello, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings.
Born in 1982, German/French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is renowned for his creativity and versatility, in his captivating performances of repertoire on both modern and gut strings.
Since then he has performed worldwide with orchestras such as the Tonhalle Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, all BBC Symphony Orchestras, Melbourne-and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra working with conductors Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Andrey Boreyko, Fabien Gabel, Thomas Dausgaard, Emmanuel Krivine, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Lahav Shani, Thomas Hengelbrock, Leif Segerstam, Giovanni Antonini and Andrea Marcon amongst many others.
As a chamber musician Nicolas regulalry plays with Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, Antoine Tamestit, Lawrence Power, Jonathan Cohen and the Quatuor Ébène performing regularly at Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festival, Verbier, Utrecht, Stavanger, BBC Proms, Gstaad, Musikfest Bremen, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein.
In 2012 Nicolas was chosen by Gidon Kremer to become his successor as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Festival and in 2014 Adam Fischer asked him to follow in his footsteps as Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie, with whom he regularly performs at Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterhazy Festival and will tour both China and Japan in the next season.
Nicolas premieres new music and performs with composers like Thomas Ades, Jörg Widmann, Matthias Pintscher, Fazil Say, Bryce Dessner and Sofia Gubaidulina. He has commissioned the pianist/composer Hauschka as part of this season as Artistic Director of the “Viva Cello” Festival in Liestal in 2016 inspired by a film script by Federico Fellini.
To date, his recordings of cello concerti by Joseph Haydn, Robert Schumann, and György Ligeti have been highly acclaimed worldwide. Next releases are all C.Ph.E.Bach concertos with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen on Hyperion; Shostakovich and Weinberg concertos with Michal Nesterowicz and DSO Berlin, Strauss’ Don Quixote, and a recital CD with Fazıl Say. Nicolas Altstaedt was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2010 to 2012 and a recipient of the “Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship” in 2009. Nicolas Altstaedt plays a Giulio Cesare Gigli cello from Rome around 1760.
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