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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rostropovich's recordings from 1950-1960 are brilliant.
The cardboard box is the usual size and strength for 10 CDs. The back has details of the music to be played. The sleeves have a huge CD number and composers on its front, and on the back in white lettering on a black background, the composer, track numbers and music to be played. Also, the conductor and date recorded. The CD is red with words in white. A huge CD number...
Published 10 months ago by Ultrarunner

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't argue with the price but I was disappointed with the recordings
Can't argue with the price but I was disappointed with the recordings. They are pretty old and sound that way, very dull with the orchestras lacking any real resonance and some strange balances with the cello far too dominant. I wasn't expecting digital quality sound, and that doesn't necessarily matter as there are plenty of magnificent analogue recordings in the world...
Published 2 months ago by Mike Pedley


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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rostropovich's recordings from 1950-1960 are brilliant., 17 April 2014
By 
Ultrarunner (Perth-West Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
The cardboard box is the usual size and strength for 10 CDs. The back has details of the music to be played. The sleeves have a huge CD number and composers on its front, and on the back in white lettering on a black background, the composer, track numbers and music to be played. Also, the conductor and date recorded. The CD is red with words in white. A huge CD number is at the top, with composers on the disc. The sound is Mono and stereo, generally quite good. But you do hear Rostropovich as you have never really heard him before, for most of the recordings were made with Moscow Symphony orchestra's.

As there is no booklet, I shall give some details about Rostropovich, born 27th March 1927 in Baku, today the capital of Azerbaijan. He was raised as the son of musical parents. At 16 he went to the Moscow Conservatory where he studied piano, cello, conducting and composition, in part with Shostakovich. Both of Shostakovich's cello concerto's are dedicated to Rostropovich. In 1960 he met Britten, who was inspired to write works for him, so the cellist played them at the Aldeburgh festival. Britten knew Shostakovich and they kept in contact until the composers death in 1975. Thus, famed as a cellist since his competition success in the late 1940's in Russia, and especially since his Western debut from the mid 1950's, he developed a career as a conductor in the 1960's. Eventually, Rostropovich became music director of the National Symphony orchestra of Washington D.C.

CD 1. (1959) SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Concerto No 1.Philadelphia Orchestra cond Eugene Ormandy. Within a few months of the first performance in Russia and within days of the first Western performance, Shostakovich attended the recording session in Philadelphia and gave his approval to the performances recorded. Rostropovich gives a uniquely authoritative reading, Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orch accompanying superbly with a precision and warmth rare with a new score.(1960) TCHAIKOVSKY: Pezzo Capriccioso. Moscow Symphony Orch cond Kondrashin. Rarely heard. The Cellist does justice to the work. (1954) CHOPIN: Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major,op 3. The passion Rostropovich brings to this work helps you to understand why he was so popular in the West.

CD 2. (1953) SAINT-SAENS: Cello Concerto No 1. Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra cond Stolyarov. Proably this piece has never been played better. Swift tempi. (1958) FAURE: Piano Quartet No 1.Gilels-Piano, Kogan-violin, Cello- Rostropovich and Rudolf Barshai-viola. (Known for his Mahler conducting) Three masters of their craft playing this Quartet faster then usual but may appeal.

CD 3. (1954) SCHUMANN: Cello Concerto in A major, op 129. Moscow Symphony Orchestra cond Samuel Samosud. Recorded before Rostropovich toured Europe. You can understand why he was so well regarded by his playing of this piece. 5 Stucke im Volkston (Excerpts). V. Yampolsky piano. (1956)Traumerei (Kinderszenen). Captures the Romantic tone of this Cellist very well. SCHUBERT: Impromptu D 899 No 3. ( trans Heifetz/Rostropovich.).

CD 4. (1957) DVORAK Cello Concerto in B minor op 104. Radio City orchestra of the UDSSR cond Boris Khaikin. I compared this version with Von Karajan's 1969 Dvorak Cello Concerto played by Rostropovich. Von Karajan's tempi is very slow. Piatigorsky Cellist. Philadelphia Orchestra cond Ormandy, not as good as the 1957 Rostropovich version; swift tempi and playing that is highly romantic and emotional.

CD 5 (1950) PROKOFIEV: Sonata for cello and piano. Piano Richter. A finely wrought and rewarding score,it deserves greater popularity. This recording should recify this situation. (1956) RACHMANINOV: Vocalise op 34 Nr. 14. A piece worth hearing.(1954) GLAZUNOV: Chant du menestrel. Moscow Youth Orch cond Kondrachin. Usually, used as a filler on a CD, but should be played more often. BORODIN: Dances from Prince Igor. GRANADOS: Intermezzo. (Goyescas).

CD 6. (1954) PROKOFIEV: Symphony-Concerto for Cello and orchestra, op 125. Adagio from (Cinderella). Leningrad City Orchestra cond Kurt Sanderling. The composer collaborated with Rostropovich in Op 125. There are numerous challenges that this score poses which obviously the cellist relished. Adagio from Cinderella sums up Rostropovich's art. Words are too limited to explain.

CD 7-8.(1955). J.S BACH. Six suites for unaccompanied Cello. Rostropovich has a more extrovert manner in these 6 suites then other Cellists. His is a more Romantic view. The results are very moving. They could attract those who are not interested in Bach's Solo Cello work.

CD 9.(1956) BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in B flat major, op 97. Emil Gilels-Piano ( Bluray Collector's Edition Piano),Leonid Kogan- violin, Rostropovich. ( Bluray Collector's Edition Violin). See my reviews.

CD 10.(1951) HAYDN. Piano trio D major. (1958) SCHUMANN: Piano trio D minor op 63. See above. This work is generally thought of as the finest of Schumann's piano trio's. It certainly belongs among his most admired works in the Chamber output.

This 10 CD set shows Rostropovich at his very best, so it is highly recommended,and is well worth the price.

REFERENCES:Fanning, D. Shostakovich: The 15 symphonies 2007. Warner Classics. Penguin Classical Guides 1976 and 1996.Reed, P. Britten the Performer. 2013. Decca Music group Ltd.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set of legendary recordings, 20 April 2014
This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
I bought this with some trepedation about the possible quality of the recordings because of the price. I should not have worried. Superb performances and lovely sound. If you need to know about Slava seek out the documentary about him "Rostroprovich: Genius of the cello". The recordings on their own are wonderful but knowing what an incredible human being this man was adds to the listening pleasure knowing that in his case genius was accompanied by character and humanity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't argue with the price but I was disappointed with the recordings, 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
Can't argue with the price but I was disappointed with the recordings. They are pretty old and sound that way, very dull with the orchestras lacking any real resonance and some strange balances with the cello far too dominant. I wasn't expecting digital quality sound, and that doesn't necessarily matter as there are plenty of magnificent analogue recordings in the world of music, but this doesn't show off the brilliance of Rostropovich's playing to its best advantage. Still, when you get 10 CDs for a tenner or so, the expression 'you get what you pay for' comes to mind! (I have a pretty good HiFi system, by the way, so it's not like I'm listening through some tinny little box)
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3.0 out of 5 stars I have happy memories of various recordings in the past but that ..., 31 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
I have happy memories of various recordings in the past but that was a long time ago and I did not really like these. The deficiency was mine, rather than the playing or the recordings
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 15 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
Everything one could expect from one of the greatest cellists ever at a fantastic. Given their age, the recordings are remarkable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
Thrilled withe CDs which arrived quickly and at an amazing price.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous buy, 2 July 2014
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Mr. M. Todman - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
marvellous, gutsy and full of character. Vintage recordings but with more presence than any amount of modern digital efforts, and at a giveaway price for some of the greatest cello works of the century. Buy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
wonderful recordings
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and they certainly do bring you into the presence of a great performer at the hight of his power, 17 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Mstislav Rostropovich - Legendary Recordings (Audio CD)
From the viewpoint of sound quality these old recordings stand up well, and they certainly do bring you into the presence of a great performer at the hight of his power. Some live recordings attest to the unedited truth of performance, revealing error as well as excellence - actually, it is wonderful to be transported into the concert hall where music is unfolding under the hands of a beautiful soul.
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