VVCD - 00058

DDD 71.31

Works for cello and orchestra
Robert Schumann. Cello Concerto.
P.Tchaikovsky.Variations on a Theme of Rococo.
N.Miaskovsky. Cello Concerto.

Victor Simon.
Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra.
Vladimir Fedoseyev.

The works on this CD were written between 1850 (Schuman's concerto) and 1944 (Miaskovskys concerto) and represent the history of musical romanticism in its peculiar cello aspect.
Schuman's concerto became a starting-point and lyrical tuning fork for the tradition of romantic works for cello and orchestra. The work reflects quite adequately the main characteristics of his late style. There is no a demonstrative break-off with classical forms, instead the composer formally follows them. And there are more balanced and harmonious emotions instead of Florestanian outbursts. At the same time the new wine is naturally filling the old wineskin. The concerto, formally
consisting of three movements, is notable for its extraordinary smooth flow
of musical ideas which seem to overcome the barriers between the movements.
Schuman's concerto appears to be a musical poem, variations on the main theme of the composition.
Cello has always played a special role in Russian musical culture.
Even in Russian romances of early and mid 19th century cello often plays
a second voice, sort of an interlocutor and even alter ego of human voice.
But it was Tchaikovsky in his Variations on a Rococo Theme (1876) who was able to bring together both chamber and virtuoso and concert aspects of the instrument.
One should not be misled by the title of the composition. The theme belongs to Tchaikovsky himself but by its style is rather close to the music of Vienna classics, for instance, Joseph Haydn, or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
There are two versions of the composition. The original one was entirely
made by the author. But there's another one, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen version made with the blessing of Tchaikovsky. Wilhelm Fitzenhagen was an outstanding cellist to whom the composer dedicated his work and who first performed Tchaikovsky's Variations. This version has become very popular with the musicians.
By its logic Variations on a Rococo Theme are build on like a sonata. It's
a one-movement piece that is developed in a "historical prospective".
Variations are extended by their size, the language of the music is getting
more complex, and there's much diversity in variations. So the content of
the work reminds a many-movement concerto. The final variation takes a
special place owing to its size and the scale of culmination.
Nikolai Miaskovsky's Cello concerto is, by the spirit of its music, close to his late symphonic works and first of all to his Symphony No 21. Terrifying "Dramas of life" typical for his music of 1910s - 1920s give way to elegies where tragic episodes are presented more like reminiscences.
Miaskovsky's Concerto sounds like recollection of Russia and recollection of romantic music. Two movements - first slow, written in a sonata form and finale - are crowned with the coda of finale where the main theme of the Concerto comes back. There is no so typical for Miaskovsky symphonic
elaboration here. Instead he introduces an extensive cello cadenza. This
only emphasizes a deep lyrical nature of the composition that the composer originally intended to name Concerto Poem.
The Concerto is dedicated to an outstanding cellist Sviatoslav Knushevitsky who first performed it.
Mikhail Segelman

Recorded: 1984 . (1, 2); 1986 (3-4)
Total time: 71.31

Victor Simon was born in Moscow in 1930. He graduated from and did postgraduate studies at the Moscow Conservatoire under the tutorship of famous musicians R. Sapozhnikov, M. Jampolsky and S. Kozolupov. Prizewinner of international competitions in Prague (1950) and Berlin (1951). Since 1952 Simon has been working with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, since 1961 soloist and Principal Cello of the Orchestra. Peoples Artist of Russia. Professor of the Moscow State Conservatoire. Many of his pupils work as soloists of leading orchestras not only in Russia but throughout the world. He made over 70 solo recordings for the radio fund and major recording companies. His discs include premiere performances of cello concertos by modern composers, music of all epochs and styles, from baroque to contemporary, including concertos by J.Haydn, L.Bokkerini, K.Saent-Saens, S.Barber, R.Schumann, N.Miaskovsky, B.Tchaikovsky, the anthology Complete works for cello and orchestra by P.Tchaikovsky, Don Quixote by Richard Strauss and many, many other works.

Vladimir Fedoseev was borh in Leningrad and studied in Moscow at the Gnesins Academy of Music and then did postgraduate studies at Moscow Conservatoire with Professor Leo Ginzburg. In 1971 he was invited by Evgeny Mravinsky to guest conduct the Leningrad Philarmonic Orchestra. The great success of the concert helped to launch his conducting career. Since 1974 Vladimir Fedoseev has been working as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tchaikovsky Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra which is Russias leading symphony orchestra. With this orchestra maestro Fedoseev made many successful tours of European countries, USA, South America, Japan and Australia.
Vladimir Fedoseev collaborates with leading orchestras in Europe including Zurichs Tonhalle, Leipcigs Gevandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Orchestra. In 1996 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997 Vladimir Fedoseev was appointed Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. As a highly acclaimed operatic conductor Fedoseev is a regular guest conductor at the Zurich Opera as well as Opera Theatres in Milano, Paris, Vienna, Bologna, Florence
In 1996 he was awarded the prestigious Russian Order for Services to the Motherland and the same year he received from the Austrian Republic the Silver Cross for his services to music in Austria. He was also awarded the Golden Star of the honourable citizen of Vienna and its territory in October 2002.

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