Shostakovich wrote two cello concertos for his great friend Mstislav Rostropovich. Cello Concerto No. 1 was written in 1959, a difficult year for the composer. His second marriage was failing, and he was suffering from a debility in his right hand that hampered his ability to write, and to play the piano. His personal circumstances could not help but to colour this dark and uncompromising cello concerto. The angular motifs in the first movement grate against one another, and the slow movement touches depths of feeling unheard in Shostakovichs works since the First Violin Concerto a decade earlier. Shostakovichs inspiration for the concerto was Prokofievs Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra. He loved this work, and told Rostropovich that he had played the recording of it so many times that it eventually wore out completely and only emitted a kind of hiss when he put it on his gramophone player. Cello Concerto No. 2 was written seven years later, in 1966. It was premiered at the composers sixtieth birthday concert with Mstislav Rostropovich as soloist. Until the very last moment it was doubtful that Shostakovich himself would attend, as he had recently suffered a heart attack. In the end, he did make it to the concert, and both he and the new concerto were rapturously received. In the words of Rostropovich, this work is less striking [than its predecessor] but its profundity is second to none. The works are here performed by the cellist Enrico Dindo, whom Rostropovich himself described as a cellist of exceptional qualities, a complete artist and a formed musician, with an extraordinary sound which flows as a splendid Italian voice. Dindo has performed with the BBC Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre national de France, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others, under conductors such as Valery Gergiev and Rostropovich. On this recording he is accompanied by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda, an exclusive Chandos artist.
Shostakovich's two cello concertos date from late in his career: they are full of dark shadows and black-humoured defiance. Both were inspired by Mstislav Rostropovich, and all subsequent interpreters tend to fall in his shadow. Enrico Dindo nevertheless handles the solo parts with a lyrical character and lightly worn virtuosity that make perfect sense on their own terms. His atmospheric treatment of the slow opening to the second concerto is especially impressive. Superbly intense accompaniments from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda. *** --Financial Times,21/01/12
Enrico Dindo is a magnificent cellist, and he has the technical measure of both of these very different but equally great compositions; he is very well partnered by Gianandrea Noseda and the Danish Orchestra and the recording is first class. --IRR,Feb'12
First prize-winner at the 1997 Rostrapovich Competition, Italian cellist Enrico Dindo has cut a relatively low profile in the UK. But this situation will surely change as a result of his impressive debut recording for Chandos...a strong front-runner in a highly crowded field. Performance***(**) Recording***** --BBC Music Magazine,Mar'12
Dindo is particularly eloquent in the glacial harmonics that follow the movement's intense climax. A cogent narrative in the cadenza and a brilliantly articulated finale, aided by incisive and well-shaped playing from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, combine to cap an exceptionally fine reading. --The Strad,Apr'12