Shchedrin: Ancient Melodies of Russian folk-songs, Cello Sonata

What makes the collection especially exciting is the rarity of having the composer accompany a world famous soloist. One now almost certainly knows that this is how the music is meant to sound.

The Sonata is the main work on the disc … [it] falls into three unconventional movements and is, in my view, a stunning work. Certainly, as Calum McDonald admits, right from the start you feel the presence of Shostakovich.

As for the performance it is very powerful. I am sure that all performers would admit that there is no such thing as a perfect technique and the composer certainly stretches the cellist’s skills. This is at times almost beyond the possible. This is true particularly in the upper register and even the great Raphael Wallfisch would agree.

The recording is first class and I must add how much I always like Nimbus’s house style of booklet photography.

Gary Higginson – MusicWeb International