Dominik Wollenweber - English horn, Berliner Philharmoniker, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, Collegium der Berliner Philharmoniker, Anna Kirichenko - piano
"The English horn needs a soft, round vibrato ... We are among those who can move people to tears," says Dominik Wollenweber about his instrument. Let us not be misled by the humble conduct, and the absence of laudatory articles and glossy photographs. Wollenweber is one of the world's finest cor anglais players. Claudio Abbado has even labelled him the "best player of all time". Since 1993, Dominik Wollenweber has been with the Berliner Philharmoniker, members of which keep him company throughout the present recording. Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, the orchestra accompany Wollenweber in Sibelius's wonderful tone poem The Swan of Tuonela. It is difficult to imagine an album dedicated to the English horn without the Largo from Dvořák's New World Symphony or without the solo from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. On the other hand, Bach's Concerto in G major and Schubert's Impromptu No. 3 may come as a surprise, while Jean Françaix's Quartet is simply bound to lift the listener's spirit. If you love the English horn's singularly dark velvety colour, which otherwise can only be heard rather as a gleam of a gem stone on the large canvases of symphonic pieces, then this album is definitely for you. And those who have yet to discover the beauty of the cor anglais will undoubtedly savour the musical menu drawn up by a true master of the instrument.
An irresistibly lovely tone. The English horn in the hands of a true master.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Concerto for Cor Anglais, Strings and Basso Continuo G major BWV 249