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CD Review

Schumann / Dvořák

Cello Concertos

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov
* London Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Britten
** English Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Britten
BBC Legends BBCL4110-2 71m ADD
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This is indeed a legendary disc on all counts!

Rostropovich's famed passion for the Dvořák Concerto has been well evidenced elsewhere but this unique live performance from 1968, on the day that Soviet tanks entered Prague is unique and unforgettable.

Svetlanov conducts with unbridled passion and the autumnal nature of the music is magnificently characterized by Rostropovich's deep bowing. The Adagio is one of the most wonderful pieces ever preserved on record.

The Schumann Concerto was also something of a Rostropovich speciality and in this crisp 1961 recording with Benjamin Britten, we have a fine and placid interpretation all around.

The short Pezzo Cappricioso is also imbued with all the Slavic charm that 'Slava' could bring to his homeland's music.

The recordings are slightly sub focused but otherwise very serviceable. However, all aural considerations pale into insignificance when confronted with music making of such enormous quality.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech