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Britten & Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich, Concerto No 1
Benjamin Britten Cello Symphony

Johannes Moser cello
Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra/Pietari Inkinen

Hänssler Classic: 98643

A magnificent coupling, superbly accomplished by all concerned; cellist, conductor and technical team.

A recording of two key 20C cello concertos which probably supercedes the classic recordings with their dedicatee, Rostropovich.

Not too sure about Hänssler's cover image montage; why a cello with four strings but only three tuning pegs?

So I have chosen from Johannes Moser's website a delightful 'outreach' teaching picture...Occasionally one wonders if Moser's cello is just a little too forward, but that is easily forgiven.

A strong recommendation, one that we have played twice through; definitely necessary for the Britten !

Peter Grahame Woolf


Pict R from interview on ZIBB

Britten, Schumann & Shostakovich

Works for Viola & Piano

Britten: Lachrymae for viola & piano, Op. 48
Schumann: Märchenbilder (4), Op. 113
Shostakovich: Viola Sonata, Op. 147

Krzystof Chorzelski (viola) & Katya Apekisheva (piano)

Champs Hill Records: CHRCD029

A benchmark recording of two of the most important cotemporary works for viola and piano, both of them needing repeated hearings and therefore ideal for coupling on a CD for connoisseurs.

It has to be conceded that nowadays young musicians are equalling and indeed challenging the famous "greats" of yesteryear and the iconic first recordings of keyworks.

Champs Hill in Sussex seems to have become an ideal recording venue, with warm supportive acoustics and the most skilled engineers on hand. These are rewarding accounts of "difficult" music; you have to wait until the end for Dowland's Lachrymae upon which Britten's meditation is based - it is intimate music best heard, maybe, in the quiet and privacy of one's own home. And the same can be said about Shostakovich's introverted Viola Sonata, his last work.

A word about images; as for the German cellist, Johannes Moser (above), I have rejected this CD's cover image of the duo, and another on the back, in favour of one (albeit pale) which shows the two friends relating to each other more naturally, which I prefer...

Peter Grahame Woolf