Cello Submarine

Cello Submarine

5.0 1
by 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
     
 
This disc may be easier to find in the classical section (this reviewer found it filed under "McCartney" as a composer), but it's worth the search. There have been lots of attempts at applying serious classical virtuosity to the Beatles' music, but Cello Submarine is one of the strangest and most

Overview

This disc may be easier to find in the classical section (this reviewer found it filed under "McCartney" as a composer), but it's worth the search. There have been lots of attempts at applying serious classical virtuosity to the Beatles' music, but Cello Submarine is one of the strangest and most delightful. The 12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic (which does not have a "pops" offshoot, or do any repertory deemed beneath it, including a lot of American music and most British music), who arguably are among the greatest cello players in the world by virtue of the orchestra in which they rate their positions, have recorded a dozen Beatles tunes in arrangements exclusively for cellos. The results are about as charming as they are unusual -- the uninitiated will be surprised by the many and varied instrumental voices that the cellists evince in their jaunty rendition of "Yellow Submarine"; similarly, "Let It Be" shows off internal nuances that are only suggested in the Beatles' original; and "Something" sounds so natural that one might almost think that it was written with the cello in mind. "The Fool on the Hill" gets the most ornate treatment, the primary melody blooming in all manner of directions that sustain and extend the basic line of the song; some of what's here gets dangerously close to modern movie music, "Michelle" getting a barely recognizable introduction before the familiar melody of the song -- twisted a bit in the lower registers and stretched out on the accents as well -- appears. "Help" is perhaps the most unexpected track here, however, the players approaching it in a manner that's lean and lyrical, and maintains the original's tempo as well as elements of the vocal harmonies. Ballads, rockers, psychedelic, or pop, the producers recognized few boundaries in preparing this album. This 1983 recording was among the earlier digital recordings ever released commercially, but it suffers from none of the problems of low volume and weak presence that frequently marred digital releases of that period -- evidently the producers here weren't afraid to pump up the volume (how loud could a cello get?), and the result is a clear, sharp recording that captures every nuance off the performances. If there is a flaw in the concept, it's that the producers didn't choose the most obvious of the Beatles' songs, "I Am the Walrus," which already has swooping cellos in its arrangement.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/1995
Label:
Teldec
UPC:
0706301001226
catalogNumber:
10012
Rank:
86074

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic   Primary Artist,Ensemble
Ottomar Borwitzky   Cello
Jan Diesselhorst   Cello
Eberhard Finke   Cello
Christoph Kapler   Cello
Heinrich Majowski   Cello
Götz Teutsch   Cello
Alexander Wedow   Cello
Rudolf Weinsheimer   Cello
Gerhard Woschny   Cello
Peter Steiner   Cello
Jorg Baumann   Cello

Technical Credits

Rolf Kühn   Arranger
Werner Müller   Arranger
Karen Williams   translation
Rudolf Weinsheimer   Liner Notes
Karen Williams   translation

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Cello Submarine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Cello Submarine cd is awe-inspiring! As as cellist, I picked it up on a whim for myself - and have proceeded to purchase it for other cellists. The songs are all very familiar, yet the delivery by the 12 cellos of the Berlin Phil is unique. Every time I listen to it, I am amazed that all the sounds happening are by cellos. The intricate harmonies, entrances, and endings are different, yet exciting. As the pieces flow, you are carried right along with them. I wish they had many more such cd's in their repertoire.