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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Tchaikovsky: Complete works for cello and orchestra

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This week’s Cover 2 Cover post is another album from the Brilliant Classics label, this one dedicated to the music of Tchaikovsky.

As is often the case with these Brilliant Classics releases, this CD is a re-issue (or re-distribution). The recording has been in the catalog of Saison Russe, Le Chant du Monde and Harmonia Mundi since 1994 and features Russian cellist Alexander Rudin and the Moscow-based Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra.

As the official website discusses, Tchaikovsky’s complete works for cello and orchestra amount to less than half this disc’s duration, comprising as they do a couple of miniatures (the Pezzo Capriccioso and Nocturne) and the evergreen Rococo Variations. But the first point of importance is that Rudin plays the original version of the score, and not the much more widely available piece of well-meaning butchery by a cellist of Tchaikovsky’s own time, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen. Fitzenhagen fiddled around with the order of the variations and left one out altogether, as well as somewhat simplifying the composer’s original and strenuous but effective demands upon the soloist. A return to the original reveals what we have been missing in the way of a rather more substantial and coherent work, and there are but one or two rival versions on the market.

In addition, Rudin complements the Variations with the gorgeous interlude from Sleeping Beauty that features a solo cello, as well as an arrangement of the famous Andante cantabile from the First String Quartet.

As filler to this CD, Rudin conducts the orchestra in the Serenade for Strings.

Happy Listening!


Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Variations on a Rococo Theme in A major, Op. 33 [TH 57] (Tchaikovsky's original version)
Nocturne [TH 64], No. 4 fromTchaikovsky's Six Pieces for piano, Op. 19
Andante cantabile [TH 63 ] from Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11
Pezzo capriccioso in B minor, Op. 62 [TH 62]
Scene of Aurora and Désiré (Andante cantabile), Adapted from The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (Act II, No. 15 (a))
(*) Serenade for String Orchestra in C major, Op. 48 [TH 48]

Alexander Rudin, cello
Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra
Nikolay Alekseev and Alexander Rudin (*), conducting

Recorded 1993.11 and 1993.02 (*) at Mosfilm Studios, Moscow

Website - https://www.brilliantclassics.com/ar...and-orchestra/

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