The achingly beautiful, haunting lyricism of early Rachmaninov and the soaring effusiveness of late Prokofiev are glowingly brought to life by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and the Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov in this new release from PENTATONE of richly expressive 20th century cello sonatas and other works.
Composed during troubled periods in the composers’ lives, the cello sonatas are life-affirming works. Rachmaninov’s arresting sonata which he wrote following a nervous breakdown is not unlike his perennially popular Second Piano Concerto: a journey from brooding melancholy to untrammelled joy, with a transcendentally beautiful slow movement. Prokofiev wrote his outstanding sonata while labouring under considerable hardship. It is by turns restrained and movingly lyrical, but the hair-raising final movement with its bravura passagework ends the work in a blaze of defiance.
“Both Rachmaninov and Prokofiev are genius musical storytellers,” Moser said in a recent interview. “Both have their own very personal and individual language, but they are at the same time deeply rooted in the epic Russian tradition…When we recorded the album, we were very inspired by images of wide open nature, Russian folklore, as well as the longing and humour that both composers share.”
“The Rachmaninov sonata is a piece that I’ve been avoiding for many years,” he added, “because I was waiting for the right partnership. And so to have a champion of Rachmaninov’s music like Andrei … it’s been very exciting for me to go on that journey with him.”
Described by Gramophone as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists” and by the LA Times as a musician who “…connects with the audience in a way that only great artists do”, this is Johannes Moser’s second outing for PENTATONE. His first album of concertos by Dvořák and Lalo was widely praised for his “performance of enormous flair and effervescence” (BBC Music Magazine) and “his dazzling virtuosity, free, passionate phrasing and immense energy … that recalls Pablo Casals’ iconic 1937 recording” (Strings). And he electrified audiences at this year’s BBC Proms in a performance of Dutilleux’s ‘Tout un monde lointain ...’
About this recording, Moser said “When we were talking about repertoire with PENTATONE, I thought about doing a really core repertoire Russian disc with this amazing Russian pianist [Andrei Korobeinikov]…He is a true master and true champion of this music and I feel very honoured to have him as a partner on this disc.”
Johannes Moser plays on a cello by Andrea Guaneri, made in 1694, from a private collection.
Dvořák & Lalo - Cello Concertos