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Cat. No. CHAN 10095 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10095 - Rachmaninoff: Complete Works for Cello and Piano
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Available From: 09 February 2004
The cello has always been one of the most favoured instruments in Russia, perhaps because its melancholic and nostalgic tone seems to mirror the ‘inner voices’ of the Russian soul. It has been written that Rachmaninov liked the cello far more than the violin, and this would appear to be borne out by the fact that of the few chamber works in the Rachmaninov catalogue, most of them are written for cello or for trio with cello. Lied is the earliest work on this disc, written when the composer was just seventeen. Two Pieces and the Sonata for Piano and Cello in G minor were written for the cellist Anatoly Brandukov. Rachmaninov was in eminent company since Brandukov was also the dedicatee of many of Tchaikovsky’s cello works.

Melody on a theme by Rachmaninov has an unusual history. Modest Altschuler, a conductor/cellist and schoolmate of Rachmaninov’s, had once asked the composer to improvise a piece for him. It is alleged that Altschuler later lost the manuscript and so reconstructed the work from memory. Altschuler’s memory could not have served him well, for the published version is unconvincing and the piano part primitive. For this recording, Rustem Hayroudinoff performs a new reconstruction which brings the piece much closer to Rachmaninov’s own style.

Vocalise, one of Rachmaninov’s best-loved works, is frequently performed, and in a variety of arrangements. It here appears in its original version, which has only just come to light, having recently been bought by the Glinka Museum of Music Culture in Moscow. The original key of E flat minor seems more typical of Rachmaninov and more suitable for the sombre mood of the piece, and the original phrasing is much more interesting than that found in later, compromised versions.

''the young Russian is teamed up with his celebrated compatriot, Alexander Ivashkin, in one of the priceless Rachmaninov discs in the catalogue. From the smooth seduction to brilliant fiery outbursts of the Cello Sonata, we are in the company of a master musician. The Popular Vocalise has never emerged with such beauty, the eleven tracks captured in immaculate sound quality.'
Yorkshire Post

'Alexander Ivashkin and Rustem Hayroudinoff are both players in the great Russian virtuoso tradition, and in the Sonata the piano flourishes all come over with the necessary brilliance, while Ivashkin's tone is strong enough to sail above the most elaborate accompaniments. They're helped by excellent recorded sound, full and well defined. It's obvious that both players are strongly committed to the music.'


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