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Christine Walevska

"Goddess of the Cello." - Antonio Hernandez, O Globo

 

“The Cello Has Its Goddess: Walevska

Walevska is a Venus who plays the cello divinely. Music takes possession of her entirely. Her sound is simply precious. It has refinement, subtleties, filigrees, which boggle the mind."

–Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (read full article)

"It is rare for a critic to feel the icy fingers of an instrumentalist’s playing on his spine, but I did when listening to this recording of the Schumann and Shelomo by Christine Walevska. The effect of being moved deeply is in a way an icy experience…There is that masterful technique of hers that leaves nothing to be desired; there is that marvelous bow arm; there is that pure, warm, melting tone that can bite and cut when needed. There is a creamy caressing in here tone and yet there is an unforced inner intensity that few instrumentalists can muster. The romantic Schumann Concerto engages her extraordinary elegance of projection, besides her virtuosity. And her playing of the elegiac parts is so full of heart and dignity that you get the shivers listening to them."

–Boris Nelson, president of American Critics Association

“Fascinating Playing by Christine Walevska

Her tone was extraordinarily beautiful, engrossing from start to finish. Her playing was captivating. Visually her playing is of the utmost simplicity, the trademark of her performance."

–Twentsche Courant, The Hague

 
 

Biography About Christine Walevska

"Goddess of Cello." - Antonio Hernandez, O Globo

Christine Walevska has been center stage in the cello world ever since her first international concert appearances at the age of eighteen. Those early triumphs inspired the sort of accolades normally reserved for star performers of mature years. Typical of the tributes was the comment by the Los Angeles music critic Patterson Greene: "She parallels on the cello the singular persuasiveness of Fritz Kreisler on the violin."

Her first teacher was her father, a dealer in rare violins and cellos.  It was he who set her on the path at the early age of 13 to be the first private student with the famous Gregor  Gregor Piatigorsky.

That was only the beginning. When she was sixteen she won a French government scholarship to study with the great Maurice Marechal at the Paris Conservatoire. Two years later she became the first American ever to win first prize in cello and in chamber music.

Her rise was meteoric, beginning her career in Germany where in her second season she played 45 concerts in that country alone. Following a series of International triumphs, including heralded appearances at Buenos Aires' famed Theatro Colon, where she performed a Recital, the Brahms double concerto with Henryk Szeryng and the Dvorak cello concerto in the same week to rave notices, there soon followed a round of appearances that sounded like a roll-call of the great European cities.

Over four decades of concertizing across the globe she has played with orchestras throughout Germany, the United States, France, in every corner of Spain, Poland, Mexico, Central and South America,(where she has brought music to every big city or small, wherever there is a concert hall with an orchestra or piano to accompany her) in Holland with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Hague, in the Concertgebouw, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, Vienna, Italy, Prague, Cuba, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dresdener Philharmonic, concerts in Japan, Honk Kong, China and Taiwan.

In 2015 the Museum of Chimei in Taiwan, with a generous grant, sponsored her latest recording recorded in Montreal. This CD may be purchased through this website. The five CD boxed set titled " The Legendary Recordings of Christine Walevska" which now exist on the Decca label, has all seventeen cello concertos, which were originally produced by Philips. This set can also be purchased through this website.

Her playing was greatly admired by Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Grumiaux.

Arthur Rubinstein said of her. "... Christine Walevska has the most sensuous tone I have ever heard on the cello... She is the only cellist, who takes my breath away..."

Claudio Arrau, yet another from the ranks of great pianists, said: "... Christine Walevska is the world's greatest cellist.."

 

Many composers have dedicated works to her, including Aram Kachaturian, Ferde Grofe (title: "Christine"), Jose Bragato and Ennio Bolognini, who wanted her to be the only cellist to continue to play his compositions.

 

The violinist, Josef Suk, Dvorak's great grandson, wrote to her and stated that her interpretation of Dvorak's cello concerto was the greatest he had ever heard. He invited her to play it at the Prague Spring Festival and she since played several times with the Suk Chamber Orchestra at the "Jewels of the Prague Castle."

 

The recording she made with the London Philharmonic of the Dvorak concerto was celebrated in a book by Prof. Fabio Uccelli: "El Commiato de Anton Dvorak", (Dvorak's Farewell), published in Florence. Entirely devoted to analyzing this work in depth. The book analyzes phrase by phrase her interpretation with that of Rostropovitch. Because of this book, during the Dvorak anniversary year, 2004. She had a wave of invitations to play the concerto everywhere from Beijing to Brasil. She played the concerto three times with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra. The book is dedicated to Christine Walevska as: "the world's greatest interpreter of Dvorak's cello concerto." This book with multimedia excerpts can be read and heard at: http://www1.diccism.unipi.it/Uccelli_Fabio/inglese/farewell_intro.html "

 

For more info, please read the following interview by Tim Janof:
http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/walevska/walevska.htm

 
Repertoire

Orchestral Repertoire

 

C.P.E. Bach Concerto (A Major)
Bruch Kol Nidrei
Bloch “Shelomo” Hebraic Rhapsody
Caplet Concerto
Dvorak Concerto in B minor
Dvorak Waldesruhe
Davidoff 3 Concertos
Faure Elegie, Op. 24
Jean Francaix Fantasy
Haydn Concerto in D Major
Haydn Concerto in C Major
Haydn Concerto #3 in C Major
Victor Herbert Concerto (1940)
Katchaturian Concerto (1946)
Lalo Concerto in D minor
Martinu Cello Concerto No. 2
Popper Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 24
Prokofiev Concerto, Op. 58
Prokofiev Concertante, Op. 125
Saint-Saens Concerto in A minor
Saint-Saens Concerto in D minor, #2
Saint-Saens Suite for Cello and Orchestra
Saint-Saens Allegro Appasionato
Schumann Concerto in A minor
Wm. Schumann Fantasy for Cello & Orchstra
Shostakovich Concerto in E flat, Op. 107
Strauss Don Quixote
Tartini 2 Concertos
Tchaikowsky Rococo Variations
Villa Lobos Concerto No. 2
Vivaldi Concertos
Walton Concerto

Chamber Orchestra

Standard Repertoire for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, and 
Many Unusual Works and Transcriptions