It’s a pretty self-explanatory title for this new release that features various composers, including Tchaikovsky, Arensky and Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov.
The sleeve notes say that cello music flourished in Russia in the 19th century, with Tchaikovsky central to things and his Variations on a Rococo Theme opens, heard here in the composer’s version for cello and piano.
Karl Davydov, whom Tchaikovsky called “the csar of all cellists”, contributes Fantasy on Russian Songs while Konstantin Lyadov’s offering is Fantasy on Gipsy Songs — you get the picture. This is music to be listened to and enjoyed, not analysed. It’s easy on the ear, thanks to the cello of Khrychev, and genteel throughout.
Perhaps more background music, something to play as you sip a sherry and discuss the day, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Out on Naxos 8.573951.
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