Britten - Solo Cello Suites Nos 1 & 2. Cello Sonata, Op 65
Mstislav Rostropovich vc Benjamin Britten pf
Decca London 421 859-2LM Buy now
(68' · ADD)
This is a classic recording of the Cello Sonata, with Rostropovich and Britten playing with an authority impossible to surpass, and is here coupled with the unaccompanied First and Second Cello Suites. The suggestive, often biting humour masks darker feelings. However, Britten manages, just, to keep his devil under control. Rostropovich’s and Britten’s characterisation in the opening Dialogo is stunning and their subdued humour in the Scherzo-pizzicato also works well. In the Elegia and the final Moto perpetuo, again, no one quite approaches the passion and energy of Rostropovich. This work, like the two Suites, was written for him and he still remains the real heavyweight in all three pieces. Their transfer to CD is remarkably successful; it’s difficult to believe that these recordings were made in the 1960s.