New CD !
Dmitri ShostakovichCello Concerto n°1 Op.107 in E flat majorSonata for cello and piano Op.40 in D minorModerato for cello and pianoEmmanuelle Bertrand, celloPascal Amoyel, pianoBBC National Orchestra of Wales
Here are two masterpieces for cello by Shostakovich, written 25 years apart. The insolent Sonata op.40 of 1934 was answered in 1959 by the bitter self-questionning of an artist who seemed to have sunk into depression. This Cello Concerto ends with a wicked caricature of true joy, adding the final touch to the extreme polymorphism of a traumatised humorist who had long since learned not to laugh...
Choc - Classica
Emmanuelle Bertrand - Violoncello
Voted Artist of the year 2011 bay Diapason Magazine and the listeners of France Musique, Diapason d'Or for her recording Le violoncelle parle, Emmanuelle Bertrand has been discovered by the wider public when she won the young soloist category at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2002, Emmanuelle Bertrand is today among the foremost representatives of the French school of cellists.
She was a pupil of Jean Deplace and Philippe Muller at the Conservatoires Nationaux Supérieurs de Musique of Lyon and Paris, and went on to win first prize at the Japan Chamber Music Competition in Tokyo and the Prix de l’Académie Internationale Maurice Ravel. She was also awarded prizes by the Fondation d’Entreprise Natexis and the Rostropovich International Competition.
In 1999 she met the composer Henri Dutilleux, whose support was to be of decisive importance: “Her interpretation immediately delighted me with its transparency of sound, its rhythmic rigor, its technical perfection, and the brio of her playing. I have no hesitation in saying that it was a genuine revelation to me”. She has given the first performances of Nicolas Bacri’s Fourth Suite for solo cello (in 1997, in Japan), and in 2000 she gave the world première of Luciano Berio’s last work for solo cello, Chanson pour Pierre Boulez. A passionate devotee of chamber music, she appears in duo repertoire with the pianist Pascal Amoyel since 1999.
Emmanuelle Bertrand is regularly invited to appear as a soloist with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique du Québec, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Orchestre National de Lille, among others. She has appeared in the main Paris concert halls (Pleyel, Gaveau, Châtelet), and in many festivals in Europe, Japan, China, Korea, the USA and Canada.
With Pascal Amoyel she has explored both little-known and mainstream repertoire. In 2005, they premiered together Le Block 15, directed by Jean Piat, which recreates the stories of two musicians saved by music during the Second World War. In 2011, she wrote a reading concert about Maurice Maréchal and his war cello, the "Poilu", made from ammunition wood during the 1st World War.
Emmanuelle Bertrand’s harmonia mundi recording as a soloist or in tandem with the pianist Pascal Amoyel have received the most prestigious accolades, including the Cannes Classical Award, Diapason d’Or of the year, Gramophone Choice, 10 de Répertoire-Classica, Choc du Monde de la Musique, ffff de Télérama…
Emmanuelle Bertrand was named “Classical revelation of the ADAMI” at Midem 2001 and won the Grand Prix de la Critique Française (French critic’s prize) in 2002. She was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in january 2004.
Emmanuelle Bertrand is the artistic director of the Festival de violoncelle de Beauvais.
Argine Jermann - General Manager
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PRESS"Bertrand wears the piece lightly, dancing rather than carving through it, with a silvery line that can be ghostly or piercing but never gruff... her bright, neat staccato is effective even if climaxes lack heft... The BBC National Orchstra of Wales under Pascal Rophe, however, really does dance on hot coals and give requisite blast... The Moderato in A minor has a haunting poetry and one can hardly imagine it better played.""This is one hell of a performance of Shostakovich's First Concerto. Emmanuelle Bertrand and conductor Pascal Rophé team up to produce one of the most intense and neurotic versions yet of this intense and neurotic piece. The Concerto is sensational, and may well become your "go to" version of the piece."
David Hurwitz - Classics Today "Emmanuelle Bertrand delivers strongly etched accounts of both the Cello Concerto n°1 and the D minor Sonata for Cello and Piano. In the outer movements of the Concerto, he holds nothing back in terms of tempo, and the results are breathtaking: some of the most fiendishly difficult writing for cello sounds like child's play." Jonathan Blumhofer - The Arts Fuse, Boston's online arts magazine “The most exceptional contribution came from Bertrand, whose intensive interpretation of Henri Dutilleux’s Trois Strophes has the imprimatur of the composer and justly given her powerful impact in the concert hall.” “Bertrand’s tone is able to balance the most explosive piano passages with non sense of strain, and in the Finale alla saltarella the spot-on ensemble playing is extremely exciting.” “The Sonate de Concert by Charles-Valentin Alkan demands enormous stamina and masterful technique. Bertrand possesses both, with the courage, flair and insight required to make this patchwork of Semitic introspection and inflammatory virtuosity take flight.”“Her performance, taped in the composer’s presence, is arresting naturally authoritative. She’s excellent, too, in the fearsomely demanding Henze Serenade, one of the most rewarding yet technically baffling works in literature.” “Her technique is so assured, her grasp of the music so thoroughly thought out, and her sense of a work’s shape so consummate and tasteful that you might think her Apollonian at first. But her expression -whose full range can be heard in her astonishing traversal of Hans Werner Henze’s 1949 Serenade- is shot through with that another philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, called “thoughts that wound from behind”.”
Strings “Bertrand finds a heightened eloquence in the former’s opening Fantasia, while the ensuing variations are incisively phrased without losing sight of the “pastoral” spirit of the theme; the closing Toccata maintains a sense of line through the technical fireworks and brusque passagework.”
International Record Review “Emmanuelle Bertrand and Pascal Amoyel elicit a totally compelling narrative in the first movement. The ensuing Andante achieves a marvelous poetic lyricism that balances spontaneity with a tautly controlled sense of musical line, while the finale is dazzling and intense, and its forceful conclusion is delivered with captivating élan. This marvelous disc allows us to savour Grieg’s alluring harmonies to the full.” The Strad Selection, Joanne Talbot “Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel have an exquisitely sensitive partnership, at its best in passages of lingering lyricism. I would keep this disc for its unique collection of Lyric Pieces, which the duo have themselves transcribed for cello and piano in subtly arrangements that play with a surprising variety of timbres and textures. Their delicate rendition of Vöglein using pizzicato and barely-there string chords is pure enchantment.” BBC Music Magazine, Helen Wallace