Fitzwilliam String Quartet: Schubert String Quartets

Rock bands attempt authenticity by doing unplugged or acoustic sessions; classical players do it by going back to basics. For this recording of Schubert’s famous quartets, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet used gut strings, and quizzed experts about playing techniques of the time the works were composed (1824). Lucy Russell’s Ferdinando Gagliano violin from 1789 is […]

Marie Ythier: Une Rencontre (An Encounter)

The warm tones of the cello are what make this CD a pleasure to listen to, which is good, because the sleeve notes are technical and the ideas behind it analytical. Composer Tristan Murail is, say the release notes, “without doubt” one of the most significant figures in European contemporary music circles, and one of […]

Dmitrii Khrychev, Olga Solovieva: 19th century cello and piano music

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 […]