Fans of either cellist Mstislav Rostropovich or pianist Sviatoslav Richter will have to hear the performances on this two-disc Doremi set. It contains the four pieces they performed in Moscow on March 1, 1950 Brahms' Sonata No. 1 and Beethoven's sonatas No. 3 and No. 4, plus the world premiere of Prokofiev's sonata and two of the pieces they played at the Aldeburgh Festival on June 20, 1964 Grieg's sonata as well as another Brahms' Sonata No. 1.
As well as Brahms’ 175th birthday in 2008 inspired these recordings in the “Kunsthaus” in Mürzzuschlag. Ronald Fuchs and Chanda VanderHart play, in addition to the two cello sonatas, six Brahms lieder transcriptions in their original keys. The lieder selected have a special connection to both the Streicher piano and with Mürzzuschlag itself. Brahms played severel of them, including “Wie Melodien zieht es mir” with Hermine Spies, and composed both “Sapphische Ode” and “Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht” during his time in Mürzzuschlag.
For Evgeny Kissin, recording Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto must be déjà vu all over again, to quote noted American philosopher Yogi Berra, because every time the Russian pianist switches labels, he records the piece again. In 1985, he recorded it for RCA with Andrei Chistyakov and the Moscow Philharmonic, and in 1994, he recorded it for Deutsche Grammophon with Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2008 he recorded it for EMI with Vladimir Ashkenazy leading the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Is this what Gallic Brahms sounds like? Well, violinist Renaud Capuçon is French-born and French-trained, and pianist Nicholas Angelich, while America-born, is French-trained, but does this make them French musicians rather than musicians who are French? Possibly: Capuçon has the lean, lyrical tone that has been the specialty of French violinists since Louis Capet and Angelich has the lush, lucid tone that has been the specialty of French pianists since Walter Gieseking.
(Ashkenazy) proves equal to the capricious moods of the piece, and both he and Haitink are fully responsive to the constant interplay between soloist and orchestra. This is a performance that succeeds in being dramatic, without becoming hysterical, as can so easily happen in this concerto… For the Second Concerto, Decca took Ashkenazy and Haitink to Vienna and results were predictably every bit as good as those obtained in Amsterdam. - Peter Herring – “Classical Music on Compact Disc”