Alban Gerhardt writes admiringly of Rostropovich and the legacy of marvellous works he inspired, but on the evidence of these extraordinary accounts of two of them, he need fear no comparisons with his great Russian forebear.
If you want intensity, passion, drive, and hard-won exaltation from performances of Shostakovich's Cello Concertos, then look no further than this new recording featuring cellist Alban Gerhardt. Sweetness and toughness in the solo cello sound; he’s prepared to dig into the strings for the edge he wants, spurred on by the urgency of the orchestral playing from the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Gerhardt, one of the finest contemporary cellists before the public, plays both works with an intensity, bravura and scrupulous attention to the score, honouring Rostropovich’s championship of these masterpieces without copying them. Fascinating complements to Rostropovich’s own, highly personal accounts of scores with which he is indelibly associated.