1. Cello Suite No.5 in C Minor - BVW 1011 - 6:29
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), one the most prolific and revered of all classical composers, wrote six suites for solo cello, which are among the most frequently performed and recorded compositions for unaccompanied cello. The 5th is one of the lesser known of these suites. This movement is rather particular, as the cello needs to be tuned differently than usual. The “A” string is tuned down a tone to a “G” in a practice referred to as a “scordatura”. This provides the cello with a wonderfully warm and mellow sound. This prelude is similarly structured to the Sinfonia Overture from G-F. Haendel’s celebrated Messiah: a slow movement, followed by a fast fugue, but in a pure style inherent to Bach.
Grützmacher - Elite Etüden - World Premier Recording
2. No.2 - Fuga - Baumgartner - 3:46
3. No.3 - Allegro Moderato - Boccherini - 6:03
4. No.4 - Allegro Non Tropo - Duport - 5:05
5. No.5 - Aria (Andante & Allegro) - Breval - 6:15Friedrich Wilhelm Grützmacher (1832-1903) - a noteworthy 19th century German cellist, composer and professor composed a number of works for cello, including study pieces for advanced cello students. There are 12 “Elite-Etüden”. These short works were composed to be played as concert encores. Each one is written in the style of various well-known cello masters and composers of that time. Grützmacher used the entire range of the cello (extreme bass to extreme high). Since their inception, these pieces were met with disdain by both the public and cellists alike. Indeed, as they require both highly exceptional technical and musical skills from the cellist, this can explain why no-one has ever recorded them … until now. At least these particular four studies now have the acknowledgement they deserve!
M. Reger - 3rd Suite, Opus 131c,
6. No.3 Präludium (Sostenuto) - 6:15
7. Scherzo (Vivace) - 5:21- CD release only
8. Andante Con Variation - 8:41- CD release only
Max Reger (1873-1916) composed a collection of 146 opus numbers in addition to an array of uncatalogued music, exploring every major genre, except opera. His three Suites for solo cello opus 131 are considered as the first most important solo cello works since Bach. The 3rd Suite (like the other two) begins with a “Prelude”, using the double-string technique. Playing two strings at once provides a wonderful polyphonic sound to the cello. The harmony is very rich and the resulting feel is rich, deep and warm. The more humoristic “Scherzo” is both brilliant and cheerful, spanning the entire range of the cello, including a slow waltz-like section in the middle. The “Andante con variazioni" is considered as the masterpiece of these three Suites. The main theme is a wonderfully lyrical slavonic melody. Again, Reger uses all the possibilities of the cello - pizzicato, harmonics, double-string, virtuosity, etc.
G. Cassadó - Suite for Solo Cello
9. Preludio-Fantasia - 6:30
10. Sardana (Danza) - 5:15 CD release only
11. Intermezzo e Danza Finale- 6:49
Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) was an early 20th century composer and cellist from Spain. His masters were Pablo Casals, for the cello, and Maurice Ravel for composition. His Suite for Solo Cello is one of his greatest masterpieces. The first movement is probably the most impressionist of the Suite. Using natural and artificial harmonics, the cello sounds like a traditional flute. Cassadó wove Maurice Ravel’s solo flute melody of the ballet “Daphnis et Chloé” in his work as a tribute to his master. Completely different in style and performance, the “Sardana” is the most difficult part for the interpreter, using a fast double-string technique. In this interpretation, the dance begins with two dancers, surrounded by the others, both trying to seduce each other, after which then invite the other dancers to follow them, leading to a religious procession, which then becomes more upbeat. The 3rd movement, starting with a wonderful Spanish melody, finishes the suite with strength, virtuosity and rhythm.
Vincent Bélanger A passionate and energetic musician, Vincent Bélanger instils in all of his various projects an original artistic vision, filled with warmth and depth. He hails from a prominent family of musicians, many of whom have contributed greatly to develop the musical scene in Quebec, Canada. He attended Master Classes with Yo-Yo Ma (Lyon, 2001) and Catalonian master, Lluis Claret (Montpellier, 2001). With grants from the “ Fondation des Jeunesses Musicales du Canada ” in 2002, he went on to study with renowned French cellist, Yvan Chiffoleau and won First Prize in the Cello Master Class. He premiered as a competitor at the Young Artists Show, presented by CBC, Canada national network, in 2004. His album “Là”, launched in Spring of 2011 (Fidelio label), won the « coup de coeur » of Radio-Classique, Quebec and Montreal before its official public release. It also received praise from the press and the public in Canada and overseas. It was ranked as best seller for several weeks on the USA's audiophile download website HDtracks.
Vincent Bélanger is a permanent guest for some major sound system manufacturers (MBL, XLO, SIMAUDIO, and Audio Note UK) allowing him to travel in America and Europe. In September of 2011, he made a promotional tour in China and Vietnam, and in 2013 he was the special guest soloist of the National Chinese Orchestra during their Canadian Tour. In June 2015, Vincent recorded his first classical album of works for solo cello which include celebrated works that are landmarks in the history of cello, some recorded for the first time.
Audio Note Music
Peter Qvortrup with Vincent Bélanger created Audio Note Music, a label aiming to bring back the pleasure of acoustic music to the public.
"Pure Cello” is Vincent Bélanger’s first recording for Audio Note’s new classical label conceived for world distribution. "Pure Cello" is the result of more than two years of work. My team and I have created a sound and a close atmosphere with you ... and especially for you! Through this rarely played repertoire, I wish that this intimate atmosphere, allows you to discover and taste the beauty of the cello.