Stunning Shostakovich

A beautifully played and recorded record that's worthy of your attention.

Composer: Shostakovich, Schnittke
Repertoire: 8 Pieces, Cello Sonata in D minor, Cello Sonata No.1, Madrigal, Klingende Buchstaben
Artists: Alban Gerhardt (cello), Steven Osborne (piano)

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Instrumental

Label: Hyperion CDA67534

Beautifully recorded (another Andrew Keener/Simon Eadon special) and played, this is a disc that enchants simply through the sound it makes. Both Gerhardt and Osborne are noted especially for their poetic insights and whenever the music turns introspective here they cast a magic spell so as to have one hanging on to their every note. The haunting opening of Schnittke’s 1978 Sonata is so delicately voiced that it sounds as though both players are merely breathing on their instruments. Gerhardt’s magical control in the solo cello Madrigal in Memorium Oleg Kagan is no less remarkable. Only a certain reluctance to indulge the music’s more gritty, cynical side brings any hint of reservation.