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3 Classic Albums - Shostakovich Cello Concerto; Dvorak Cello Concerto; Baroque Concertos / Mstislav Rostropovich, cello

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
>Boccherini, Luigi : Concerto for Cello in D major, G. 479
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Cello in C major, RV 398
>Tartini, Giuseppe : Concerto for Cello in A major
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 2 in G major, Op. 126
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11
>Glazunov, Alexander : Chant du menestrel for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 71
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Dvorak & Tchaikovsky: East met West in Berlin's Jesus-Christus-Kirche when this epoch-making recording was made in September 1968. Critic Peter Cossé, a young eyewitness to the musical summit meeting, later reported: "Even areas of the media which normally never touched 'classical music' ran the story." Rostropovich, the greatest cellist of modern times, came from the Soviet Union to Cold War Berlin - divided, vulnerable, and troubled - to perform with the Philharmonic under Karajan. And, as if the concerts weren't already a major event, these august musicians would also be recording the Dvorák concerto together with Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations. The rest is history. As the Gramophone Classical Music Guide writes: "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. The orchestral playing is superb . . . In the coupled Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Rostropovich . . . plays with masterly Russian fervor and elegance . . . The description 'legendary' isn't a whit too strong for a disc of this calibre."

Vivaldi: Mstislav Rostropovich gave the Soviet premieres of a number of pre-Classical works, including three concertos by Vivaldi. His student and biographer Elizabeth Wilson describes a Moscow class evening he organized in 1966 in which his students shared a Baroque concerto between them. Rostropovich had assembled a student string orchestra and directed music by Vivaldi, J. C. and C. P. E. Bach, Tartini and Boccherini from the harpsichord. In September 1977 (not long before his Soviet citizenship was revoked on account of his friendship with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his support for other dissidents) he made the present recording of Vivaldi, Tartini and Boccherini with another friend, Paul Sacher, the Swiss patron and conductor, who commissioned a number of works for Rostropovich. The LP's release in 1978 was acclaimed by the international press. In the US, Stereo Review wrote that "Rostropovich turns each phrase to perfection". Later, in the UK, BBC Music Magazine praised the "eloquent vocalization of phrasing", adding that "the melodic line of Boccherini's D major Concerto is simply mesmerizing".

Shostakovich / Tchaikovsky / Glazunov: The greatest of the many composers to create works for Rostropovich was Dmitri Shostakovich, who dedicated both of his cello concertos to his close friend. The Second, less often played but darker and - as the cellist maintained - more profound than the First, was composed in 1966, and Rostropovich gave the work's premiere that year in Moscow on 25 September, the composer's 60th birthday. Two weeks later he played its western European premiere in London and the following February its US premiere in New York. Not until 1975 did he record it. He was in Boston to play the concerto with Ozawa and the Boston Symphony on 9 August when news came of Shostakovich's death. Two days later at Symphony Hall they made this incomparable recording of it (along with the ripely expressive little piece by Glazunov). "Rostropovich plays with beautifully controlled feeling," wrote Gramophone. "Ozawa provides a most sympathetic and well-disciplined accompaniment . . . The recording is excellently balanced [and] the most is made of the spacious and warm acoustic . . . A most truthful recording of a most distinguished performance."



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Works Details

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Ensemble: Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 41 min. 24 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: 16 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876

>Boccherini, Luigi : Concerto for Cello in D major, G. 479
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Paul Sacher
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum Zurich
  • Running Time: 16 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Cello in C major, RV 398
  • Performers: Alexander Stein (Cello); Martin Derungs (Harpsichord); Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Paul Sacher
  • Running Time: 8 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: by 1742

>Tartini, Giuseppe : Concerto for Cello in A major
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Paul Sacher
  • Running Time: 14 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413
  • Performers: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello); Martin Derungs (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Paul Sacher
  • Running Time: 10 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: by 1742

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Cello no 2 in G major, Op. 126
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Notes: Composition written: 1966.
  • Running Time: 33 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1966

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Running Time: 6 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1888

>Glazunov, Alexander : Chant du ménestrel for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 71
  • Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Running Time: 4 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1900