Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mstislav Rostropovich is one of the greatest cellists of the twentieth century. From his debut in Moscow in 1942 through numerous world tours, Rostropovich set a high standard of playing, both in terms of accuracy and bravado. A versatile genius, he was also a formidable pianist and conductor who enjoyed a distinguished tenure with the National Symphony Orchestra. He subsequently appeared as guest conductor with many major orchestras, notably the Vienna Philharmonic. It is as a cellist, however, that he will always be best remembered.
This volume of "The Russian Years" series is notable for its inclusion of works that hold a special connection with the musical elite of Soviet Russia and its star cellist. Prokofiev's collaboration with Rostropovich is well documented, and the present recording of works dedicated to the performer is of considerable historical significance. Of special importance is the presence of the Symphony Concertante, Op. 125. Recorded in 1970, this is perhaps the definitive reading of the opus and very impressive playing indeed. Other works, by Glazunov, Taneyev, and Miaskovsky help make this album a truly necessary addition to the collection of the student of Russian music and performance style.