- Sinfonia Concertante for cello & orchestra in E minor, Op. 125
- Concertino for cello & orchestra in G minor, Op. 132
- Pushkin Waltzes (2), for orchestra, Op. 120
Back before there were recordings, performance history was only as old as the oldest memory, and thus it was not only possible but inevitable that every generation would reinterpret every piece. But now in this the golden age of recorded music, when pretty much everything that's ever been recorded is available somewhere in the world, performance history has become a nightmare from which contemporary performers will never awaken. No matter how powerfully argued and compellingly played a recorded performance is, it will inevitably be compared with the great recorded performances of the past. And in that comparison, all too often the contemporary performance will be found wanting. In the case of cellist Alexander Rudin's 1995 recording of Prokofiev's "Symphony Concertante, Op. 125," and "Concertino, Op. 132," the comparison must inevitably be with Mstislav Rostropovich's recordings of the works. And how can Rudin fare in comparison to the greatest cellist of the twentieth century in two works written specifically for him? Actually, surprisingly well: Rudin has a burly tone, a strong technique, and a sensitive ear, and the combination is often quite lovely and always persuasive. And if Rudin's performances aren't in the same league as Rostropovich's, even Rostropovich's later re-recordings of the works aren't in the same league as the first recordings. Theodore Kuchar and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine are wonderfully poised and sympathetic accompanists and Naxos' sound is marvelously clear and warm.