CD Review: DVORAK & LALO: Cello Concertos, Johannes Moser

Johannes Moser
Audiophile Audition

This new SACD from Pentatone presents us with two very fine recordings and performances of both a well known and semi-well-known cello concerto.

German-Canadian international soloist Johannes Moser, just signed to an exclusive with the Pentatone label, has been an active performer with the Berlin Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony, The London Symphony and many more.

The disc starts with the Dvorák Cello Concerto in b minor Op. 104. It’s a familiar work, but I’ve rarely heard this fine a performance coupled with such an excellent recording. Moser is assured and energetic, and the Prague Philharmonia conducted by Jakub Hruša provides a compelling accompaniment. Tempos are brisk, and the recording, a 5.0 mix, has a very wide spread with some direct sound sparingly mixed into the surrounds. It gives the orchestra an expansive soundstage. It was a good decision for this piece. This is a superlative performance coupled with a first class recording.

Lalo’s Cello Concerto is a contrast to the Dvorák, having a romantic and Mediterranean flair. The performance is flawless, both from Moser and the Prague, but the concerto just doesn’t have the emotional bite of the Dvorák.

Johannes Moser is a major talent. Pentatone was wise to to sign him to an exclusive contract, and I’m sure more find recordings will be released. I also praise Pentatone for sticking with SACD discs and expanding into high resolution downloads. They were an early proponent of multichannel, and the company is getting aggressive in releasing important new recordings in excellent hi-res sound.  Read the rest of the review here