Rostropovitch & Britten Play Schubert, Schumann & Debussy

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
As long as there's an England, these performances of Schubert's "Arpeggione Sonata," Schumann's "Fünf Stücke im Volkston," and Debussy's "Cello Sonata" will always be available. Played by the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the English sometimes pianist and full-time great composer Benjamin Britten, these performances from 1961 and 1968 showcase the latter's uniquely English ability to play with, play around, play over, play under, and play through a soloist. This is not to say that Rostropovich isn't a huge presence. With his big tone, his strong technique, and his commanding personality, the player is instantly and always identifiable as the late, great ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
As long as there's an England, these performances of Schubert's "Arpeggione Sonata," Schumann's "Fünf Stücke im Volkston," and Debussy's "Cello Sonata" will always be available. Played by the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the English sometimes pianist and full-time great composer Benjamin Britten, these performances from 1961 and 1968 showcase the latter's uniquely English ability to play with, play around, play over, play under, and play through a soloist. This is not to say that Rostropovich isn't a huge presence. With his big tone, his strong technique, and his commanding personality, the player is instantly and always identifiable as the late, great Russian whether in the lyrical Schubert, the whimsical Schumann, or the evanescent Debussy. But it is to say that Britten is just as huge a presence. With his subtle tone, his nuanced technique, and his ingenious personality, Britten sometimes blends with Rostropovich, sometimes stand apart from Rostropovich, sometimes supports Rostropovich, sometimes challenges Rostropovich -- and never in ways that the listener familiar with these works would expect. Is Britten pushing too hard in the Schubert, relaxing too much in the Schumann, or doing any bloody thing he wants in the Debussy? Or is Britten pulling back too much in the Schubert, tensing too much in the Schumann, and going along for the ride in the Debussy? It's impossible to say because Britten's playing is all these things and more. But the answer to the most important question -- does it work? -- is an emphatic "yes." Together and separately, Rostropovich and Britten turn in performances that stand with -- but slightly apart from -- the best ever made. Recorded in rich, warm, and detailed stereo by Decca, this disc should be heard by anyone who loves the performers or the repertoire.
Raleigh-Durham News & Observer - David Perkins
1/2 Rostropovich played with a miraculous range of volume, absolute trueness of pitch, a subtle and unobtrusive vibrato and complete musical honesty.... Britten is a naturally discreet and responsive accompanist.... This belongs on anyone's list of 25 must-have chamber music discs.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/12/2007
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947582397
  • Catalog Number: 000894602
  • Sales rank: 55,649

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sonata for arpeggione & piano in A minor ("Arpeggione Sonata"), D. 821 - Benjamin Britten & Franz Schubert (28:46)
  2. 2 Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102 - Benjamin Britten & Robert Schumann (18:23)
  3. 3 Sonata for cello & piano, L. 135 - Benjamin Britten & Claude Debussy (12:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mstislav Rostropovich Primary Artist
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