Schubert, Schumann, Debussy: Cello Sonatas

Schubert, Schumann, Debussy: Cello Sonatas

by Mstislav Rostropovich


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Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten's friendship was not merely a gesture of goodwill during the cold war but a true musical partnership. The English composer/conductor/pianist and the great Russian cellist teamed up many times between their first meeting in 1960 and Britten's death in 1976. This recording is culled from two different sessions: the Schumann and Debussy works were recorded in 1961, and the Schubert was recorded in 1968 (along with the beautiful Sonata Britten composed especially for Rostropovich). Schubert's Sonata -- originally written for the arpeggione, a strange (and short-lived) hybrid of the cello and guitar -- is a slender work, but these musicians make the most of its tender lyricism in a loving, spontaneous performance. Such spontaneity is a necessary ingredient for Debussy's Sonata, and rarely has the music flowed so naturally as here -- just listen to the Spanish-flavored whimsy of the final movement. As for Schumann's charming folk pieces, Rostropovich phrases them like a great lieder singer, while Britten (a superb and highly seasoned vocal accompanist) discovers a huge palette of colors in the simple piano part. The original recordings were quite fine, and these new remasterings offer slightly richer tone and sharper definition.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/10/1999
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028946097427
catalogNumber: 460974
Rank: 28244


  1. Sonata for arpeggione & piano in A minor ("Arpeggione Sonata"), D. 821
  2. Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102
  3. Sonata for cello & piano, L. 135

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