Schnittke: Cello Concerto No. 1; Cello Sonata No. 1; Stille Musik

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COMPOSERS: Schnittke
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Cello Concerto No. 1; Cello Sonata No. 1; Stille Musik
PERFORMER: Maria Kliegel (cello), Raimund Havenith (piano), Burkhard Godhoff (violin); Saarbrücken RSO/Gerhard Markson
CATALOGUE NO: 8.554465 Reissue (1990)
Cellist Maria Kliegel proves adept at expressing the grief-laden melancholy of Schnittke’s First Cello Concerto, with its fine balance of twisted, drifting melodies and percussive outbursts. The slow build-up to the screaming climax of the final Largo is particularly well-controlled – despite the odd moment of poor tuning – and overall, the recording perfectly captures the Concerto’s inherent anguish, Gerhard Markson directing a potent performance from the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Violinist Burkhard Godhoff joins Kliegel for an effective reading of the rich-textured Stille Musik, and pianist Raimund Havenith lends sensitive support in the First Cello Sonata, where Kliegel details every nuance of this angular yet intensely lyrical work. Catherine Nelson