Karl DAVIDOV (1838-1889)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in B minor Op. 5 (1859) [20:19]
Cello Concerto No. 2 in A minor Op. 14 (1863) [26:22]
Three Salon Pieces Op. 30 (1877-78) [14:00]
Am Springbrunnen Op. 20 No. 2 [4:11]
Berceuse Op 10, No. 2 [3:30]
Waltz Op. 41 no. 2 [5:24]
Romance Op. 22 [3:37]
Marina Tarasova (cello)
Alexander Polezhaev (piano)
Davydov Symphony Orchestra/Konstantin Krimetz
rec. Studio No. 5, Moscow Radio June, August 1995. DDD.
ALTO ALC 1066 [77:51]

Marina Tarasova recorded a series of Russian cello concertos in the 1990s. They were issued initially on Olympia. When that label ground to a halt it was Regis and then Alto - both imprints of Musical Concepts - who reissued them and at bargain price. Those discs covered the two Kabalevskys, the Miaskovsky and the Khachaturian (with the Concerto-Rhapsody). I wonder if more had been recorded and stockpiled.

Tarasova wanted to record all the cello compositions of Karl Davidov. His compositions are roundedly romantic in the highest flown virtuosic bel canto style with echoes of Tchaikovsky and Paganini. In his concertos one can hear how Davidov was an influence on Tchaikovsky who venerated him and whose Rococo Variations are in some measure written in the shade of Davidov’s concertos. Another influence is Schumann as is evident from the first movement of the Second Concerto.

The seven miniatures for cello and piano are touching and emotional without being lachrymose, The third of the three Salonstucke is something of a fantasy piece with plentiful reserves of vitality which carry over into the flight op. 20 No. 2. That flow of golden inspiration runs in generous measure in the Berceuse. The final Romance is an epitome of the disc and of Davidov’s creative talents which stand in line of sight to the romantic works of Grieg and especially Schumann.

There are four Davidoff Concertos, the Allegro de Concert for Cello and Orchestra and upwards of twenty-five other works for Cello and Piano, as well as arrangements of works by Beethoven, Schumann and others. As far as I can tell Tarasova only got as far as recording and issuing the first two Davidovs. Since then the cellist Wenn Sin-Yang has recorded all four for CPO (review; review) but while they are at premium this Alto is in the usual bargain category. I hope that Ms Tarasova completes her project as it is clear she has a healthy sense of how Davidov’s music should go.

Rob Barnett

Ms Tarasova has a healthy sense of how Davidov’s music should go.Ms Tarasova has a healthy sense of how Davidov’s music should go.