Prokofiev, Shostakovich

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev,Shostakovich
LABELS: Ongaku
WORKS: Cello Sonata in C, Op. 119 . Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40
PERFORMER: Suren Bagratuni (cello) Adrian Oetiker (piano)
Every cellist loves these sonatas (there are over 20 recordings of each in the current catalogue), so the two laureates here have stiff competition. In the main, they qualify: the Armenian cellist Suren Bagratuni, a silver-medallist at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition, is an idiomatic interpreter with a remarkably focused tone, though there is something mechanical about his bowing.


No other sonata revels so voluptuously in the bass of the instrument as Prokofiev’s, and there is a lack of resonance here, which in the Shostakovich becomes a lack of free flight. For a better mix of the limpid and balletic, Swiss pianist Adrian Oetiker is the man, so it is a shame the cello is recorded so far forward of the piano. Helen Wallace