Strong, bold and exuberant. Both players have the feel of the music in outline as well as in the detail, and they make out an excellent case for the Rachmaninov as a major romantic cello sonata.
Rachmaninov's lengthy, not to say protracted, Cello Sonata was written for his friend Anatoly Brandukov, an evidently gifted and delightful man who had been a pupil of Tchaikovsky (and was also the dedicatee of Tchaikovsky's Pezzo capriccioso). It certainly reflects his magisterial technique; but a good deal more is required of the pianist. The sonata is a big, romantic work in which a good deal of the material derives from Rachmaninov's own style and technique, which were, of course, closely bound up with his extraordinaryRead more pianistic gifts. For much of the time, the material seems piano-inspired, and suits the keyboard rather than the cello; while in places there are severe balance problems, even though naturally these can be solved in a recording as sensitive as this.
But there need be no reservations about the performance, which is strong, bold and exuberant. Both players have the feel of the music in outline as well as in the detail, and they make out an excellent case for the work as a major romantic cello sonata. They do, however, seem rather more at ease with the smaller pieces, which is not really surprising. These are often charming, always charmingly played.