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An excellent anthology for admirers of the Romantic cello and Rose's art.,
This review is from: Cello Concertos (Audio CD)
As a previous reviewer remarked, you can rarely go wrong with the Sony "Essential Classics" series and very often it is the high quality of the analogue sound which is most surprising. Ormandy was a prolific recording artist and was blessed by being partnered not only with the Philadelphia Orchestra but also with some of the greatest soloists of the post-war era; people like Serkin, Stern, Oistrakh and, as here, Leonard Rose. Perhaps still under-rated, Rose performed frequently with Isaac Stern and here displays his versatility in a pleasingly disparate compilation of cello classics. His tone is sometimes gutsy and fiery, sometimes lean and aristocratic and it is easy to hear why he was such an influential teacher for a generation of American cellists.
The Lalo Cello Concerto is rather percussive in parts but the short, soulful Intermezzo allows him to exploit the dark, expressive lower reaches of his instrument. That warmth pervades the Tchaikovsky "Rococo Variations", too; its serene Classical poise given a ripely Romantic treatment, forming a telling contrast with Bloch's impassioned, hieratic pronouncements. The Fauré "Élégie" is another sombre piece which displays the richness of Rose's sound.