Cello Concerto Concerto Rhaps
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The Naxos series devoted to the orchestral music of Aram Khachaturian continues with his two works for cello and orchestra. The Cello Concerto, whose brooding emotional unease did not endear it to the authorities at a difficult time for Soviet musician
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The beautiful recording places the listener right in the middle of the orchestra. Close your eyes and you almost see the rosin flying off the bows, the woodwinds' reeds pushing to their limit. This is absolutely a no-holds-barred performance.
The 1946 Cello Concerto's almost 3-minute long cadenza exhibits a fearless virtuosity from Yablonsky. The 1963 Concerto-Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra is an equally bravura performance with eery pulsing tones like from a Bernard Herrmann score.
Beautiful. Moody. Intense. Strong. Smooth. All of the above.
If the Cello Concerto can sound somewhat harsh and off-putting to some listeners, the composer's Concerto-Rhapsody from 1963 is more approachable. It is more flowing, more harmonic, more poetic, and more impassioned. Both pieces are well played, and the Naxos sound is clear and well balanced.
John J. Puccio