In the spring of 2019, Christoph Croise scored a breakthrough with his critically acclaimed recording of Haydn’s Cello Concertos. With The Russian Album, he turns his attention to two towering 20th century masterpieces, Sergei Rachmaninov’s early, eloquent and emotional Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s D minor Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 40. The latter work’s finale featured what would become the composer’s signature style of caricature and irony that proved too provocative to the Stalinist regime. Croise also offers two “encores”- his own transcriptions of the March from Sergei Prokofiev’s propulsive opera The Love for Three Oranges, and Rodion Shchedrin’s flamboyant In the Style of Albeniz- and a bonusRead more track by his compatriot, the Swiss cellist and composer Thomas Demenga, New York Honk, a humorous homage to the Big Apple’s cacophonous traffic noises. “a recording teeming with sparkle and relentless in fizz.” (Gramophone)
They perform the two sonatas with great expression and high, energetic commitment, without any exaggeration. Croisé proves a sensitive musician who casually abandons technique to boast the musical expression. The small compositions, Shchedrin's In the style of Albeniz and the March of Love for the Three Oranges by Prokofiev are given the same careful interpretation as the two main works on this recording.