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CD Review

Russian Masterpieces for Cello and Orchestra

Zuill Bailey, cello
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra/Martin West
Telarc CD-80724 60m DDD
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This delightful disc is chiefly dedicated to works Tchaikovsky wrote for the cello and starts off with the famous Rococo Variations which are given sterling treatment by Bailey and west who coaxes the orchestra in a delightful manner. Although not of the character of Rostropovich and Karajan whose version remains the best one, at least in my opinion these Telarc newcomers certainly run the classic duo quite close.

The "Pezzo Capriccioso" in B minor and the "Nocturne" are also winningly performed as Bailey brings a certain deftness and lightness of touch which is thoroughly infectious. The Shostakovich First is a rather more intense piece of music but Bailey is a consummate master at bringing out the best elements of this enigmatic work in a manner which rather resembles the legendary Pierre Fournier.

Telarc's recording is excellent with just the right amount of spotlight given to the soloist and with the orchestra sounding extremely attractive in its own right. Detailed booklet notes are an added bonus to this delightful collection which is self recommending for the cello enthusiast.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech