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Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century, The Complete Warner Recordings / Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; various artists [40 CDs]

Notes & Reviews:

This deluxe edition comprises 40 CDs and 3 DVDs, with about one half being studio recordings and the other half live. The repertoire is made up of solo works, works for cello and piano, cello and chamber group and concertos/concertante works with orchestra and ranges from the early 18th century to the latter 20th century.

The box contains no fewer than three versions of the Dvorák Cello Concerto, often considered the greatest of all concertos for the instrument. The version conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini (1977) is generally considered to be the essential version in the entire catalogue. Another highlight is the recording that in many senses represents the culmination of Rostropovich's recording career: the Bach Cello Suites, recorded in Vézelay in France in 1991; this was his only studio recording of these landmark works. They appear in both audio and video versions in the box.

Other celebrated musicians appearing with Rostropovich include Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten and such great Russians as David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Yevgeny Svetlanov. The box also contains a previously unpublished audio interview with Rostropovich, in which he discusses Shostakovich with the journalist Jon Tolansky. The recordings are complemented by a lavishly illustrated 200-page hardback book with a chronology, fascinating articles and reproductions of many rare photos and documents from Rostropovich's personal archive.All audio recordings in the box have been remastered. Analogue recordings have been remastered in 24 bit-96khz from the original tapes.



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