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Shchedrin: Cello Concerto, Etc / Ylonen, Mustonen, Et Al

Release Date: 02/13/2001 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 955   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Rodion Shchedrin
Performer:  Marko Ylönen
Conductor:  Olli Mustonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rodion Shchedrin's music resists easy classification. Even during the glory days (such as they were) of the Soviet Union he managed to remain very much his own man, with a distinctive artistic voice. Still, like so many other Russian composers, the principal emotion his post-Soviet music expresses is sadness. With Shchedrin, though, however dark the sonic landscape, his innately lyrical style, his love of nature, of folk music, his very "Russian-ness" always peeps through. This magnificent Cello Concerto very clearly demonstrates the truth of these observations. The moderately paced first two movements produce an impression similar to the opening Nocturne of Shostakovich's First Violin
Read more Concerto. There's the same bittersweet lyricism, the same desolation, and it's all beautifully written for the soloist. The third movement cleverly combines the functions of scherzo and cadenza, and leads to an eruptive finale that gradually dissolves into a haunting, pastoral coda. Cellist Marko Ylönen offers a huge range of sonority and very nimble fingers, from the richly lyrical outpourings of the second movement to the feather-light textures of the scherzo. He's perfectly accompanied by Olli Mustonen and the Helsinki Philharmonic. Shchedrin's Seagull Suite (arranged from the full-length ballet score) also spends much of its time exploring the darker side of Chekhov's tragic "comedy", and makes a fine filler, but it's the Cello Concerto that will keep you coming back again and again.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Cello "Sotto voce" by Rodion Shchedrin
Performer:  Marko Ylönen (Cello)
Conductor:  Olli Mustonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; Russia 
The Seagull: Suite by Rodion Shchedrin
Conductor:  Olli Mustonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USSR 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Excellent, But Darkly Tinged Modern Russian Music June 6, 2017 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "This Ondine disk features 2 late 20th century works by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. To open the program, cellist Marko Ylonen and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra give a riveting performance of Shchedrin's Cello Concerto, which dates from 1994. I found this concerto to be stark and sober, and the for most part both soloist and orchestra project a sonically subdued presence, which at times seemed to be heading toward minimalism, but then fortunately pulled back in the midst of some truly imaginative lyricism from both cello and orchestra. The cello's role focused primarily on its lower registers, further enhancing the darker ambience of the concerto. The CD notes explain that the clearly discernible melancholy of the work is connected to Shchedrin's intense emotional reaction to the discovery that Soviet 'progress' had destroyed the rural home of his childhood and his ancestors, in its place constructing ugly high rise tenements of no aesthetic merit whatsoever. The remaining work is a suite of nature motifs based on Chekhov's play The Seagull. The mood of this interesting music is frankly tragic and chaotic, as the intensity of the orchestra effectively projects a devastating, apocalyptic vision. As you can tell by my remarks here, this is challenging music, which indeed contains a sense of austere beauty and objective honesty embedded deep in the soul of both works. Both works were written in the 1990's, with the transition away from the horrors of Soviet 'Socialist Realism' well underway. Thus, it may be appropriate to consider Shchedrin's works from this time frame as part of the Russian inquiry into its true cultural identity in the early post-Soviet era. This is music that requires serious listening, as it is not 'fun' music by any account. Still, I found the recording to be a profound musical statement of considerable interest and merit. Serious classical music fans should find some real challenges, but also some real pleasure, in this recording." Report Abuse
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