Haydn's contribution to the cello repertoire
Alan Lekan | Boulder, CO | 07/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After Vivaldi and Boccherini - both of which who wrote a lot of music for the cello - there was not so much writing for the cello from the major composers until Beethoven's dramatic cello sonatas. But even Beethoven did not compose a cello concerto. Neither did Mozart or Schubert. However, in the late 18th century, Joseph Haydn wrote two very melodic and virtuostic cello concertos composed with his typical Vienesse good taste to give cello players and enthusiasts through the ages something to truly celebrate.
Are these recordings of the ASMF and Rostropovich deserving of the accolade of "Great Recording of the Century?" Maybe, I'm not sure what the measure is to get that title. But certainly listening to these concertos, you clearly get a sense of a great performance by both Rostro but equally from the ASMF orchestra whose beautiful tone, tempos and interaction with the soloist all seem to be well judged and well-suited to Haydn - whose music always seemed to be composed with such finesse and fine taste. The EMI sound also is really excellent - full and balanced.
These cello concertos feature very attractive and lyrical cello parts but also difficult technical passages that should particularly delight the cello enthusiasts. Mr. Rostropovich blazes through these sections with deft and confidence that is impressive to hear. While his style may seem at times to be "heavy," it does not mean it is all wrong or that he is incapable of exuding a lyrical smoothness. His style is his style - which is one of a dramatic and powerful tone (coming from his deep and powerful Stradivarius cello). Other cellists may convey more of a "sweeter" style, but Mr. Rostropovich's precise and bold playing here combined with the superb ASMF performance and vivid sound is a winner to me."
More suited towards the C major.
Santa Fe Listener | 05/11/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A great recording of the Haydn C, displaying Slava's wonderful boisterous qualities with the cello. However, with the D major concerto having so many smooth melodic lines, it does not in my opinion go well with this heavy style of playing. The Yo-Yo Ma recording of the Haydn D is very beautiful. Buy this for the C, and Yo Yo for the D."
Rostropovich is marvelous, but which version to choose?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 08/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rostropovich plays with such panache and good humor in both these Haydn concertos that there's no room for complaint--he's brilliant technically and is backed by alert, sprightly accompaniments from Marriner and the ASMF. At 50 min., this CD isn't much of a bargain, however. You can get the First Concerto from Rostropovich two other ways. One is a Decca performance with Benjamin Britten making twice as much of the orchestral part as Marriner does. The finale is faster, too, which allows Rostropovich to astound us even more. But that CD only has him in this piece, the rest being filled out with other Haydn concerti for winds.
There is also a DG recording of both concertos under Paul Sacher that I remember from the Sixties. It's as brilliant as this CD but not as well recorded. The plus side is that DG's budget reissue contains cello concertos by Boccherini, so the timing is much more generous. These are just random thoughts about various Rostropovich versions--this one is certainly appealing on its own and delivers the goods on all counts.."