WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Cello Sonatas / Russakovsky, Nicholson

Rachmaninoff / Prokofiev
Release Date: 05/27/2014 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94771   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyAlexander GlazunovSergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Alexander RussakovskyAmber Shay Nicholson
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bringing together works for cello and piano by some of the greatest composers in Russian music history, the set begins with Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata – a landmark piece for the composer and whose highlights include a lyrical opening movement and the furiousness of an apparent snowstorm in the second-movement Scherzo. The Pas d’action from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty, which follows, depicts the moment where Prince Désiré, wandering alone in the forest, is approached by the Lilac Fairy who shows him a vision of the beautiful princess Aurora, and this is followed by Glazunov’s Sérénade espagnole – the first of the composer’s ‘Spanish’ works, one which employs a ringing tone reminiscent of a Spanish guitar Read more or lute. Bringing the collection to an end is Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata. This piece, beginning with a distinctly serious tone, metamorphoses into a triumphant carnival-like finale, complete with the festive bells that are so symbolic of Russian music.

Cellist Alexander Russakovsky enjoys an international reputation as a performer and teacher. He has given masterclasses as far afield as Latin America and Taiwan, and in recent years has won first prize at the Angela and Maurice M. Clairmont Competition in Tel Aviv and the Performing Arts Foundation Competition in Santa Barbara. Pianist Amber Shay Nicholson won the 2001 Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 competition at the Eastman School of Music; she is also a former member of the piano faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Other information:
- Recorded in 2012.
- This new recording brings together two great, but altogether different 20th century Cello Sonatas from Russia: the gorgeous and deeply romantic cello sonata by Rachmaninoff, of near-symphonic proportions, and the cello sonata by Prokofiev, a hybrid piece of his later period, a fascinating mixture of the romantic, the grotesque and the introspective side of the multi faceted composer.
- As interludes we hear arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s ballet music from Sleeping Beauty, and the Sérénade Espagnole by Glazunov, a brilliant show piece.
- Beautiful, expressive and “Slavic” performances by Russian cellist Alexander Russakovsky.
- Contains liner notes on the works and performer biographies. Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 19 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Alexander Russakovsky (Cello), Amber Shay Nicholson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Andante cantabile by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Alexander Russakovsky (Cello), Amber Shay Nicholson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Russia 
Pieces (2) for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 20: no 2, Sérénade espagnole by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Alexander Russakovsky (Cello), Amber Shay Nicholson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Russia 
Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major, Op. 119 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Alexander Russakovsky (Cello), Amber Shay Nicholson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USSR 

Sound Samples

Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19: I. Lento - Allegro moderato
Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19: II. Allegro scherzando
Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19: III. Andante
Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19: IV. Allegro mosso
The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (arr. A. Kleineke for cello and piano): The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act II: Pas d'action: Andante cantabile (arr. A. Kleineke for cello and piano)
2 Morceaux, Op. 20 (arr. for cello and piano): 2 Morceaux, Op. 20: No. 2. Serenade espagnole (arr. for cello and piano)
Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119: I. Andante grave
Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119: II. Moderato
Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119: III. Allegro ma non troppo

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook

Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In