The disc opens with the concerto, a five movement work lasting 31 ½ minutes and is performed by the soloist who gave the works premier in April 2008. The work is one of contrasts with the first movement Lamento sounding quite oriental, with the oboe almost sounding like a muezzin over the top of the orchestra.
Lucia Swarts chooses to explore the highest peaks of cello literature after 35 years of professional work. Swarts performs Bach’s Six Suites for Cello Solo on a Baroque cello, but, uniquely, Suite no.5 is played on a Basse de Violon.
Janos Starker was one of the 20th century's best cellists, known for his warmth and expression, as well as a thorough knowledge of the instrument. On these historic recordings, Starker delivers Bach’s six suites for solo cello and sonatas with technical expertise and authenticity. Accompanied by pianist György Sebök, this re-release is captured with the pristine sound associated with the Mercury Living Presence series.
Rudolf Buchbinder is firmly established as one of the most important pianists on the international scene, he is a regular guest of such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic, National Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has collaborated with the world’s most distinguished conductors including Abbado, Dohnányi, Dudamel, Frühbeck de Burgos, Giulini, Harnoncourt, Maazel, Masur, Mehta, Saraste, Sawallisch and Thielemann and is a regular guest at the Salzburger Festspiele and other major festivals around the world.
These strong, stylish, intelligently mapped-out, and excellently engineered interpretations of Brahms' complete solo-piano variation sets find pianist Garrick Ohlsson on peak technical and musical form. The impetuous fervor and tempo extremes that characterized his 1977 EMI release of the Handel and Paganini variation sets have given way to steadier, better integrated tempos and an altogether stronger linear awareness that yields greater textural diversity and color without sacrificing power and mass. What is more, ear-catching rubatos, voicings, and articulations are borne out of what's in the score.
Boris Tchaikovsky stands out as one of the most original composers of the post-Shostakovich generation. The three works presented here helped establish his early reputation for expressive lyricism and strong rhythms that embrace the deep-rooted traditions of his teachers Miaskovsky, Shebalin and Shostakovich. The elegant and emotionally searching Piano Trio is considered by some to be a kind of self-portrait. The Cello Sonata and Solo Cello Suite were both written for Mstislav Rostropovich who declared, ‘I consider him to be a genius, whose contribution to the cello repertoire has yet to be sufficiently appreciated.’