Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations

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Each of the works on this disc is associated with a notable cellist who made a career in Russia: the 'Rococo Variations' with the German player Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (1843-90), the 'Andante cantabile' with Anatoly Brandukov (1859-1930), the 'Chant du Menestrel' with the Polish player Alexander Wierzbilowicz (1849-1911) and the Shostakovich Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007) - whose genius as an interpreter knits the whole program together. The main work on this recording is Shostakovich's Second Concerto - a work on which Rostropovich and the composer collaborated. While the cellist's recording with Herbert von Karajan is vastly popular, this CD includes Rostropovich's preferred recording of the work, taped in 1960 with Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. For this alone, this CD is well worth the purchase. Tully Potter provides the insightful liner notes.