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Dvorák: Cello Concerto; Tchaikowsky / Rostropovich, Karajan

Album Summary

>Dvorak, Antonin : Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"The version with Karajan offers a full-blooded romantic conception, with a marvelous grandeur that can be almost overwhelming...few convey the tenderness more warmly than Rostropovich in the Adagio and this quality is coupled with dazzling virtuosity in the finale." ***** -Classic CD

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
There have been a number of outstanding recordings of the Dvorák Concerto since this DG record was made, but none to match it for the warmth of lyrical feeling, the sheer strength of personality of the cello playing and the distinction of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich. Any moments of romantic licence from the latter, who's obviously deeply in love with the music, are set against Karajan's overall grip on the proceedings. The orchestral playing is superb.

You've only to listen to the beautiful introduction of the secondary theme of the first movement by the principal horn to realise that the BPO is going to match its illustrious soloist in eloquence, while Rostropovich's many moments of poetic introspection never for a moment interfere with the sense of a spontaneous forward flow. The recording is as near perfect as any made by DG in that vintage analogue era. It gives the cello a highly realistic presence, and if the passionate fortissimo violins lose just a fraction in fullness, and there seems to be, comparably, just a slight loss of resonance in the bass, the sound picture has an impressively clear and vivid focus.

In the coupled Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Rostropovich uses the published score rather than the original version. However, he plays with such masterly Russian fervour and elegance that any criticism is disarmed. The music itself continually demonstrates Tchaikovsky's astonishing lyrical fecundity, as one tune leads to another, all growing organically from the charming 'rococo' theme. The recording is marvellously refined. The description 'legendary' isn't a whit too strong for a disc of this calibre.

Gramophone Magazine - James Jolly
two great musicians performing with complete sympathy for each other: Rostropovich on top form and Karajan an attentive partner



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Works Details

>Dvorak, Antonin : Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 41 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 15 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876