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Cello Concertos
Ernest Bloch - Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Berthold Goldschmidt

Cello Concertos

Julian Steckel

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085532230
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Catalog number: AVI 8553223
Releasedate: 13-04-11
These three cello concertos reflect the different destinies of three Jewish composers. Born in Brno, Erich Wolfgang Korngold achieved great success in Vienna, moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and had to remain in the U.S. when the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938. Geneva-born composer Ernest Bloch worked for several years in the U.S. starting in 1916, and in 1938 he made the State of Oregon his new home. Originally from Hamburg, Berthold Goldschmidt worked as composer and as conductor in Berlin: in 1935 he was obliged to pack his few meagre belongings in order to emigrate to London. Goldschmidt, a pupil of Franz Schreker, coined his own personal version of modernist style – however, after the Second World War, his music came to be labelled as “not progressive enough”. Goldschmidt was not rediscovered until the 1990’s. Ernest Bloch, on the other hand, envisioned a kind of “Hebrew music”. Although he barely knew Hebrew, he developed a new Jewish musical identity based on what he regarded as the Hebrew language’s deep structure. His music was grounded in his religion, and his archaically tinged scales and motifs seemed to come from an ‘imaginary folklore’. Each of these concertos clearly reflects the upheavals of the fractured 20th century. What they all have in common is the use of the modern, ‘emancipated’ cello’s full range of instrumental possibilities, requiring the radically enlarged range of playing techniques introduced by Julius Klengel and David Popper (truly ‘revolutionary’ virtuosos of their time). 
Born in 1982, Julian Steckel began playing the cello at the age of five and counts today among the most eagerly sought and versatile musicians of his generation. After many years with Ulrich Voss as teacher, he went on to study with Gustav Rivinius, Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff and Antje Weithaas. After a number of First and Second Prizes (Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Lutoslawski, Rostropovich, Casals, Feuermann Competitions), he won First Prize in 2010 at the Munich ARD Competition, and was also awarded the Audience Prize, the Munich Chamber Orchestra Prize and the Oehms Classics Prize. In 2007 he won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award in London. He has made solo appearances with high class orchestras from Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, Saarbrücken, Copenhagen and Warsaw, the Orchestre de Paris, the Kremerata Baltica, Chamber Orchestras from Budapest, Zurich and Stuttgart, under such conductors as Norrington, Hogwood, Schiff, Boreyko, Simonov, Arming, Sanderling, Levi and Storgards. Julian Steckel is especially passionate about chamber music, and in that genre he has collaborated with renowned musicians such as Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas, Isabelle Faust, Sarah Chang, Gustav Rivinius, Yuri Bashmet and Alexander Lonquich as well as with the Ebène, Vogler, Guarneri and Talich quartets. As an invited guest artist he has performed at major international musical events such as the ‘Spannungen’ Festival Heimbach, Lucerne, Ludwigsburg, Bonn, Schwetzingen, Zermatt, Mondsee, Cambrai and Menton festivals. He has made further appearances at the Philharmonie in Berlin, in Munich and Hamburg, the Salle Pleyel and the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the KKL in Lucerne and the Seoul Arts Center. In the 2010-2011 season, Julian Steckel was principal cellist of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Marek Janowski and also a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. He has now been appointed Professor of Cello at the University of Music and Theatre Rostock, where he will start teaching in April 2011. Following the highly praised CD release of Mendelssohn’s complete works for cello and piano with Steckels duo partner Paul Rivinius, the same successful cello-piano duo will also release a new CD also on CAvi in 2011, with works by Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Fauré, Boulanger and Poulenc. Julian Steckel plays a cello made by Urs W. Mächler (Speyer, 2005).