Boris Tchaikovsky stands out as one of the most original composers of the post-Shostakovich generation. The three works presented here helped establish his early reputation for expressive lyricism and strong rhythms that embrace the deep-rooted traditions of his teachers Miaskovsky, Shebalin and Shostakovich. The elegant and emotionally searching Piano Trio is considered by some to be a kind of self-portrait. The Cello Sonata and Solo Cello Suite were both written for Mstislav Rostropovich who declared, ‘I consider him to be a genius, whose contribution to the cello repertoire has yet to be sufficiently appreciated.’
Tilman Hoppstock is one of Germany’s most famous guitar players and the work of Bach stands in his focus for a long time: His research of over 30 years culminated in the publication of two book titles and his musicological edition is considered today a standard work by nearly all guitarists who occupy themselves with Bach. In 2013 he earned the doctor’s degree for his research on Bach. The Six Suites for solo cello are nowadays performed on a wide range of instruments and Tilman Hoppstock has adapted the Suites Nos. 1, 2 and 5 for his instrument the guitar. His large knowledge of the contrapunctal technique of Bach combined with his stupendous virtuosity on the guitar resulted in a recording of great musicality and sensibility. © Christophorus
The music of Finnish avant-garde composer Kaija Saariaho has been steadily gaining repute since 2000, when her opera L'amour de loin was premiered in Salzburg. Placing the label of avant-garde on her music, though, is perhaps a mistake: Saariaho has mingled in a wide circle of artistic talent, including Boulez's IRCAM as well as alongside spectralist composers, giving her music, regardless of nomenclature, an entirely distinct and original voice.
The very short list of credits on this Warner Classics release includes Russian American cellist Nina Kotova and producer Adam Abeshouse, who delivers a very closely miked sound in the frequently used Performing Arts Recital Hall of Purchase College on Long Island, New York. But perhaps the uncredited star on this set of Bach's Six Suites for solo cello is Kotova's 1679 Stradivarius instrument, which Kotova exploits to the maximum. Her reading is one of those in the line coming down from Pablo Casals, with a high degree of expressiveness generated through variations in tempo and articulation. Hear any of the concluding gigues, which come off like late Romantic witches' dances, for an example, or the increasingly unexpected relationships among the Gavotte sections in the Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012 (CD 2, track 17).