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The Glory of Rostropovich: 80th Birthday Tribute [Box Set]
Luigi Boccherini, Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Tartini
The Glory of Rostropovich: 80th Birthday Tribute [Box Set]
Genre: Classical
 

     
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CD Reviews

Some Gems to Be Found
John Hopfensperger | Midland, MI | 04/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The problem with a Rostropovich collection is this: his best recordings were made for various labels: DG, CBS/Sony, EMI, BBC (live), Decca, etc. While DG (the makers of this disc) may have gotten his best commercial recordings, they simply don't have enough great recordings by this great artist to release a truly worthwhile 8 CD collection.

Many customers will already own his famous Dvorak / Tchaikovsky disc with Karajan. Similarly, his Brahms cello sonatas have already been quite popular on their own disc, as has his performance of the Schubert Quintet (with the Emersons).

All of these are excellent, even definitive, recordings. If you don't have them, buy this set by all means. If you already have some or all of these recordings, then the riches to be found here are scarce.

I am no great fan of the several Baroque and Classical concerti which fill out a couple of discs; the best discoveries here, then, are the Schuman concerto and the Chopin sonata with Argerich. These performances are both available on the (imported) Galeria label for about $20 -- a bit too much for one disc, unless you're a serious collector. The Schumann concerto is also available in DG's "Rostropovich, Mastercellist" set, which is probably better worth your money than this collection (unless, as previously stated, you have never been introduced to the great cellist's work through other discs).

What are left include Rostropovich's Shostakovich second concerto (good, but not as well conducted as versions by Schiff and Maisky) and orchestral works, conducted by Slava himself. These are very much enjoyable, but hardly definitive. Actually, a couple of his best conducted symphonies are also to be found on other labels: LSO and Teldec.

In conclusion, this set is great for the hardcore Rostropovich collector or for those still lacking an introduction to his recordings. But, for those of us who already know him, this disc doesn't have much new to say.

1. Concerto for Cello no 2 in A major, G 475 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble: Collegium Musicum

2. Concerto for Cello in A minor, Op. 129 by Robert Schumann
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Orchestra/Ensemble: Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra

3. Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble: Collegium Musicum

4. Concerto for Cello in A major by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble: Collegium Musicum

5. Concerto for Cello in C major, RV 398 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Paul Sacher
Orchestra/Ensemble: Collegium Musicum

6. Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

7. Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo theme, Op. 33 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

8. Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

9. Chant du ménestrel for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 71 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Symphony Orchestra

10. Concerto for Cello no 2 in G major, Op. 126 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Symphony Orchestra

11. Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: National Symphony Orchestra

12. Concert à quatre by Olivier Messiaen
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bastille Opera Orchestra

13. Mass: Meditations (3) by Leonard Bernstein
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

14. Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38 by Johannes Brahms
Performer: Rudolf Serkin (Piano), Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)

15. Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 99 by Johannes Brahms
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Rudolf Serkin (Piano)

16. Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano), Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)

17. Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano in C major, Op. 3 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano), Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)

18. Adagio and Allegro for Cello and Piano in A flat major, Op. 70: Adagio by Robert Schumann
Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano), Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)

19. Quintet for Strings in C major, Op. 163/D 956 by Franz Schubert
Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Emerson String Quartet

20. Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

21. Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

22. Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

23. Capriccio italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

24. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 1, Op. 64a by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: National Philharmonic Orchestra

25. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Orchestra/Ensemble: National Philharmonic Orchestra"