Label news: Alisa Weilerstein quits Decca for the Dutch

The US cellist who scored considerable success with the Elgar, Carter and Dvorak concertos on Decca has decided that her future lies in the Low Countries.

She has signed an exclusive, multi-album contract with Pentatone, starting later this year with both Haydn concertos and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, with the Trondheim Soloists.

She says: ‘Pentatone’s values are in line with mine. Our conversations about repertoire have demonstrated the depth of their knowledge and, perhaps even more importantly, their eagerness in encouraging me to expand my musical horizons. Our first recording together is a testament to that ethos – that artistic integrity and curiosity should always be the first priority. I feel completely at home.’



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    • I know, it’s terrible, isn’t it? I’m sure you can play a much better one. Can’t wait to hear that long line…

    • Which of course is why Daniel Barenboim chose to play and record the Elgar concerto with her for the first time since his late wife, Jacquelyn du Pre. Mind you, what did du Pre and Barenboim know about the Elgar concerto…?!

      • DB made a mistake choosing Weilerstein. Just listen to how unstructured her playing is above (with Kirill Karabits): bits of phrases poorly placed and amounting to nothing. Then hear JdP, also above.

        • If, as it appears, Barenboim for some reason failed to consult Olassus before undertaking the Elgar recording with Weilerstein, one can only see this regrettable lapse as symptomatic of a slapdash and superficial approach to the concerto as well as indifference to the importance of a structured line in cello playing.

          • A line that respects structure matters in Elgar, whose music for long stretches is an exercise in glorious restraint. DB understands this. Weilerstein can’t seem to think beyond the next phrase.

        • Nonsense. You could also listen to (a) the Barenboim / Weilerstein recording from Berlin, which is excellent, or the (b) Barenboim / Weilerstien recording, live, from Oxford, which is likewise seriously compelling. Why choose the Karabits one?

  • We’ve seen a number of artists move away from labels like Pentatone (Julia Fischer) and BIS (Martin Fröst) to larger labels. It’s nice to see Alisa Weilerstein go the other way. Hopefully the Pentatone recordings are SACDs.

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