Cello Concerto in A major (Dvořák)
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Unlike its brother, the B minor Concerto, Op.104, the A major Concerto has been more than overlooked. Written for cellist Ludevít Peer, it was discovered by composer Günter Raphael years later. Raphael orchestrated and heavily edited the work in the late 1920s, making it more his own than Dvořák's. The Concerto was left un-orchestrated by Dvořák, existing only in piano-score form. A typical performance of the Concerto is approximately 56 minutes long; the outer movements are around 25 and 21 minutes long respectively, with a short (c. 10 minutes) slow movement.
The 1970s brought another editor of the Concerto, a Dvořák expert, Jarmil Burghauser. He, along with the great cellist Miloš Sádlo, prepared another version of the Concerto. This time the editing was light. The new edition was published in two versions: In an original piano-score form (with appropriate cuts that correspond to the orchestrated version), and an orchestrated version by Burghauser, who took the liberty of cutting the extensive opening and final movements.
Today, one can get a taste of all three versions, since there are two Supraphon recordings available (Original and Burghauser), as well as Steven Isserlis' frequent touring with the Raphael version which he has since released on Hyperion Records.
- Ramon Jaffé, Cello. Rhine Philharmonic State Orchestra. Jarmil Burghauser version.
- Supraphon Label
- Koch Classics
- Werner Thomas-Mifune, Cello. Burghauser version.
In 2010, the Czech cellist Tomas Jamnik recorded a new edition of the A major concerto with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra on the Supraphon label. The performers here shorten the concerto to 35 minutes, sometimes following Burghauser, but sometimes, following extensive research by themselves, finding their own solutions to some of the problems caused by only having the piano score, rather than a full orchestral version. On completion of the piano score, Dvořák would never go back to his "Concerto for 'Cello with piano accompaniment".
- John Clapham, 1979, Dvořák, Norton, writes that Raphael's "edition" is "so unlike Dvořák's original, that it must be regarded as a travesty of Dvořák's intentions."