HAYDN Cello Concerto in C major SAINT-SAENS Cello Concerto No. 1 ELGAR Cello Concerto in E minor. Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. Rec. Royal Festival Hall, London 1965. BBC Legends

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Haydn Cello Concerto In C Hall London 1965 Bbc Legends

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH

Haydn: Cello Concerto in C major*

Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1**

Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor†

London Symphony Orchestra / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky**†

Recorded Royal Festival Hall, London, 1 July 1965*

Royal Festival Hall, London, 7 July 1965**

Royal Festival Hall, London, 5 July 1965†

The celebrated Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-) started to travel to the West in the 1950s and made his London and US debuts in 1956. He has had many works written for him including compositions by Glier, Khachaturian, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten. In 1970, he openly attacked the Soviet restrictions on cultural freedom and as a result his travels to the West were curtailed. Only in 1974 was he officially allowed to leave the Soviet Union and set up in the UK.

All these performances date from the 1965 Russian Festival where the top Soviet artists of the period (Kondrashin, Oistrakh, Richter, Rohzdestvensky, Rostropovich, Svetlanov etc) gathered in London to produce memorable performances at the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall.

The Elgar Cello Concerto is not new to the Rostropovich discography – his Russian broadcast was available on Revelation briefly some years ago and was released without Rostropovich's permission. This fine version with the LSO and Rozhdestvensky is therefore the first official and approved version to be released.

The Haydn (which features Rostropovich as both soloist and director) and the Saint-Saëns concertos have both been recorded commercially by Rostropovich but these live performances have an extra frisson and excitement compared to the confines of the studio.

Rostropovich last appeared on BBC Legends with a performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, (BBCL41432) described by Gramophone as;

“Thrills aplenty from a Proms favourite and astonishing playing from a master cellist…a must hear.”

BBC Legends BBCL41982

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