Top positive review
97 people found this helpful
on 27 June 2003
This two CD set is worth buying for Rostropovich's interpretation of the Schumann cello concerto alone. The Schumann has been recorded by all the big names and as a result there are many fine versions available. However, none of them compare to this one... duPre has the strengh and power but lacks refinement... Isserlis sacrifices intensity for technical perfection... Yo Yo Ma's interpretation is engaging but hardly heart-rending. Only Rostropovich does the music justice. Here passion, sensitivity and longing are united in the most exquisite cello tone imaginable. More than any other this recording communicates the soul of the cello.
The recording of the Dvorak cello concerto included here is widely regarded as definitive and has yet to be surpassed. It makes the perfect companion for the Schumann concerto because in temperament they are opposites. The Dvorak has an extrovert beauty, it's an epic filled with drama and verve and the perfect vehicle for Rostropovich's talent.
Rachmaninov's cello sonata is sublime. This piece has many gorgeous melodies that really allow the instrument to sing and deserves to be better known. Of course, this is arguably the finest interpretation to be heard, better than Truls Mork and Yo Yo Ma anyway. In Rostropovich's hands it's world of emotion is fully realised.
The other works are far more than just "fillers". Glazunov's Chant du Menestral has one of the most haunting and beautiful melodies composed for any instrument. The Tchaikovsky piece is delicate and pretty although not as immediate as the other works. And Chopin's Polonaise Brilliante is a thrilling virtuoso showpiece that exhibits Rostropovich's phenomenal technique.