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Shostakovich: Cello Con. No. 1; Sym. 9; Liadov: Baba Yaga et al. / Lynn Harrell, cello

> Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107 - I. Allegretto
> Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107 - II. Moderato
> Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107 - III. Cadenza
> Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107 - IV. Allegro con moto
> Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 - I. Allegro
> Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 - II. Moderato
> Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 - III. Presto -
> Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 - IV. Largo -
> Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 - V. Allegretto
> Baba Yaga, Op. 56 - Baba Yaga, Op. 56
> Muzikal'naya tabakerka (A Musical Snuffbox), Op. 32 - Muzikal'naya tabakerka (A Musical Snuffbox), Op. 32
> Kikimora, Op. 63 - Kikimora, Op. 63
> Volshebnoye ozero (The Enchanted Lake), Op. 62 - Volshebnoye ozero (The Enchanted Lake), Op. 62
> Pro starinu (About Olden Times), Op. 21b - Pro starinu (About Olden Times), Op. 21b

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
>Liadov, Anatole : Baba-Yaga, Op. 56
>Liadov, Anatole : Musical snuffbox, Op. 32
>Liadov, Anatole : Kikimora, Op. 63
>Liadov, Anatole : The enchanted lake, Op. 62
>Liadov, Anatole : About Olden Times (Pro Slarinu), ballade for orchestra in D major, Op. 21b
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Lynn Harrell joins Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony for a recording of what some regard as one of the most difficult works for cello. Originally composed for the great cellist Rostropovich, Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1a was written at the start of the Cold War. At this time, Shostakovich slept with a suitcase of essentials packed under his bed in preparation for being taken by the KGB in the middle of the night. This turbulent period for the composer is said to have contributed to the unusual form of the work citing the "philosophical" content of the music itself.

Fanfare
Harrell paired the Shostakovich with Bloch's Schelomo in a very effective and satisfying performance... a recommended release

American Record Guide
The Liadov pieces have the full spectrum of sound that Shostakovich's Ninth should. They're pleasant bits of Russian romanticism... Symphony No. 9 starts out at a good clip... The players sound like somebody just gave them each a million dollars - I've rarely heard an orchestra sound so happy.

Allmusic.com
The Seattle Symphony, conducted by Gerard Schwarz, and cellist Lynn Harrell provide technically brilliant performances... Harrell's powerful tone rises easily above the robust orchestration, yielding a first-rate performance of this taxing concerto. The disc concludes with five short works of Anatol Lyadov, a highly successful Russian composer a generation earlier than Shostakovich who has regrettably become largely overlooked. Schwarz brings these picturesque miniatures to life with the same playfulness and dedication as found in the Shostakovich.



Reviews

Strong Shostakovich!
The listener expects this recording to be strong from the get-go, given that it features Lynn Harrell (cello), Gerard Schwarz, and the Seattle Symphony. And it delivers. The first piece is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, and Lynn Harrell’s playing is evocative and seems just right – it matches the calling of the horns with just the right amount of active energy, but also maintains a level of longing warmth that is definitely there to be found at the core of this piece (it is particularly evident in the 2nd movement). The 4th movement has all of the driven Shostakovich energy, with the orchestra providing strong accompaniment to Mr. Harrell’s cello.

The second piece on the program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, Op. 70. It is tender and unsettling and isolated and a number of other things – which is exactly how it is supposed to be. The moderato movement is filled with a quiet sense of pathos that grows into yet another section of longing warmth. It is breathtaking how smoothly the Seattle Symphony manages this transition under Mr. Schwarz’s direction. The horn solo in the 3rd and 4th movements is just dynamite. The 5th movement is so well done that – well – if you’re a Shostakovich fan you just have to hear it. It’s fantastic.

The five Liadov pieces are relatively short, but with a distinctive Russian sense about them (of course). The Musical Snuff Box is playful and fun, but the jewel of the set is Kikimora – operatic in nature, with a gorgeous English Horn solo. The Ballade is also wonderful and flowing and alive, and it is easy to understand why Liadov’s music is among some of the most respected. It is a shame that his music is not heard more often, at least here in the West.

All said and done, if you enjoy Shostakovich’s music it is definitely worth adding this disc to your collection. If you are simply curious, the performances herein are a good eye-opener to what this composer and Liadov have to offer.

Submitted on 01/04/12 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 107
  • Performers: John Cerminaro (Horn); Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1959.
  • Running Time: 26 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1959

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1945.
  • Running Time: 24 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1945

>Liadov, Anatole : Baba-Yaga, Op. 56
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1905

>Liadov, Anatole : Musical snuffbox, Op. 32
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1893

>Liadov, Anatole : Kikimora, Op. 63
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1910

>Liadov, Anatole : The enchanted lake, Op. 62
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1909

>Liadov, Anatole : About Olden Times (Pro Slarinu), ballade for orchestra in D major, Op. 21b
  • Performer: Lynn Harrell (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1906