Gregor Piatigorsky

Gregor Piatigorsky plays Mendelssohn, Chopin & Strauss

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One of the most important and prominent musicians of his time, Gregor Piatigorsky heralds from a time that could be referred to as the Golden Age of Cellists. His contemporaries included such luminaries as Fournier, Tortelier, Starker, and Rostropovich, to name but a few. Yet Piatigorsky still managed to tread his own path both in his own playing as well as his recorded legacy. This album features cello sonatas of Mendelssohn (No. 2 in D major), Chopin, and Strauss, each recorded in the mid-'60s. Piatigorsky had a penchant for chamber music collaborations with some of the greatest musicians the world has known (Horowitz, Heifetz, Rubinstein) and this album is no different, especially considering the profound performance of Rudolf Firkusny in the Chopin sonata. One of Piatigorsky's strengths had always been his clean -- some would say lean -- tone. Particularly in some of the densely scored chamber music he often performed, this type of tone ensured that the cello could always be heard. Such is the case here, as well, where every note of Piatigorsky's playing is easily audible over even the busiest of piano parts. Overall sound quality of this restored album is good if not a little sterile; there are a couple of moments in the Strauss sonata where Leonard Pennario's playing proves to be too much for the microphones of the day and some distortion can be heard.

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