Notes and Editorial Reviews
A warm welcome back to the catalogue for one of the all-time great cello discs. The original Columbia LP by Leonard Rose and Leonid Hambro was recorded in New York City on May 12-13, 1955. Sony's new remastering reduces any slight astringency in higher cello registers to insignificant levels, but the slightly enclosed feel of the studio acoustic persists. Schubert's "Arpeggione" Sonata sounds crystalline and pure in its every utterance. Among vintage recordings, only Pierre Fournier's 1968 account with Pierre Fonda on DG brings similarly elegant restraint and musical understanding, but Rose imparts a sense of zest and spontaneity to the piece, suggesting the delight of fresh discovery. Superlatively played throughout, the finale especially brings a display of amazing bravura, as in the clean-cut precision of Rose's string-crossing in the flighty rondo, and in arpeggio writing high above the staff during the closing pages. The first-movement exposition repeat was omitted to accommodate the performance on a single LP side.
The immaculately-performed fillers, cello sonatas by Boccherini (the famous one in A major) and Sammartini, filled the B side of the original LP. As Yo-Yo Ma comments in his introduction, "Mr. Rose set the standard for integrity in artistry...if there is an ideal sound for the cello, he had it...And I know he was particularly proud of this recording." An outstanding reissue.
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com