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Mstislav Rostropovich - Three Classic Albums


Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001999802  
Composer:  Antonio VivaldiGiuseppe TartiniLuigi BoccheriniAntonín Dvorák,   ... 
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
Conductor:  Paul SacherHerbert von KarajanSeiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium MusicumBerlin Philharmonic OrchestraBoston Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dvorak & Tchaikovsky
East met West in Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche when this epoch-making recording was made in September 1968. Critic Peter Cosse?, 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, 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 Dvora?k concerto together with Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. The rest is history. As the Gramophone Classical Music Guide writes: “There have
Read more been a number of outstanding recordings of the Dvora?k 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 fervour 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 In September 1977 (not long before his Soviet citizenship was revoked on account of his friendship with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his support for other dissidents) he made the present recording of Vivaldi, Tartini and Boccherini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 vocalisation of phrasing”, adding that “the melodic line of Boccherini’s D major Concerto is simply mesmerising”.

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.” Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello in C major, RV 398 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
2.
Concerto for Cello in A major by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Italy 
3.
Concerto for Cello in D major, G 479 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
4.
Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
5.
Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/1968 
Venue:  Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 41 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1968 
Venue:  Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 18 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Chant du ménéstrel, Op. 71 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Written: 1900 
8.
Concerto for Cello no 2 in G major, Op. 126 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; USSR 
9.
Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1886-88; Russia 

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