Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 (1901) [39:25]
Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14 (transc. Anatoly Brandukov) (1912) [4:03]
Romance/Ballade Op. 1, No. 5 in A major (1915) [6:18]
Elegie, Op. 3 No. 1 (1892) [7:15]
Prelude Op. 23 No. 10 in G flat major (1902) [3:54]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Nocturne for cello and piano, Op. 19 No. 4 (transc. Wilhelm Fitzenhagen) (1882) [4:31]
Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 for cello and piano (1882) [6:40]
Marina Tarasova (cello); Alexander Polezhaev (piano)
rec. Moscow, 2002. DDD
ALTO ALC1132 [72:27]
This disc forms part of a Russian music series recorded by Tarasova from the late 1980s onwards, issued on Olympia and now reissued by Alto:-
ALC1066 Davidov Cello Concertos 1 and 2
ALC1075 Miaskovsky Cello Concerto and sonatas
ALC1094 Khachaturian Cello Concerto and Rhapsody
ALC1066 Kabalevsky Cello Concertos 1 and 2
Tarasova’s tone favours a hoarse viscosity – an agreeable tendency not to let go of the note. This is complemented by Polezhaev whose instrument is heard pari passu with the cello. The nobility of the Sonata suits both players and each lays bare Rachmaninov’s inherent emotionality. This is in evidence even in the sturdy melancholy introspection of the Andante. Joy only fully breaks cover in the alternately galloping and then coaxingly touching Allegro mosso finale. That latter mood carries over into the long line of the Vocalise where the cello does indeed have the eminent position in the balance – just as it should be. The Romance is another slow blooming piece of gentle melancholia as is the Elegy Op. 3. The Romance is one of the episodes from the Six Morceaux op. 11 and lies very aptly under the cellist’s fingers. It’s dedicated to another composer who revered Tchaikovsky – Arensky. The smilingly contrived arrangement of the Prelude Op. 23 No. 10 is more of the same mixture. The Tchaikovsky miniatures nicely balance out the disc and each recalls moments from a more famous work – the Rococo Variations. The Pezzo is the more impassioned of the two – sufficient to make it stand out from the generality of salon brevities. The cellist Anatoly Brandukov (1859-1930) provides linkage between the Sonata and the Pezzo. He is the dedicatee of both works. However the Pezzo was first tried out by the arranger of the Nocturne, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, who premiered the Rococo Variations.
The note is by James Murray who does a good job with the essentials and more.

Rob Barnett
Viscous hoarseness of tone complemented by nobility and emotionality.