Rachmaninov / Shostakovich: Sonatas for cello and piano
An exceptional venture into the chamber repertoire: Robert Irvine, highly acclaimed protagonist of Delphian's recent disc of cello music by Giles Swayne, is now joined by pianist Graeme McNaught in two classic Russian sonatas.
"Rarely can [the Rachmaninov] have been recorded in a performance of such potent and poetic intensity, intelligence and clarity as that which … Irvine and his responsive, vital pianist, Graeme McNaught, give here. Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata is equally well done: poised, subtle and controlled where it needs to be, but appositely pugnacious, brittle and pointed in the scherzo"
"…performances of exhilarating musicality and intimate understanding. Proof couldn’t be stronger that it’s not always the most marketed names that produce the finest interpretations"
"The lyrical warmth in Shostakovich’s manner in this work owes something to Rachmaninov, repressed though it may be. Robert Irvine touches on this well, balancing it with cleverly handled playing of a finale whose brightness carries a considerable charge of irony. He and his excellent pianist, Graeme McNaught, keep the textures light, wittily so even if there is a wry note in the wit, but also in a Largo that has its own problems with deliberately dark, even murky textures. It is highly intelligent playing of an emotionally complex work."
"two gloriously affectionate performances by Scots duo Robert Irvine (cello) and Graeme McNaught (piano) which respectively capture both the expansiveness of the Rachmaninov and the delicate nuances of the Shostakovich"
"Pianist Graeme McNaught, in ultra-sensitive accompaniment to the concentrated and intense playing of cellist Robert Irvine, has the steel of Rachmaninov in his fingers, but also an incredible sense of fleetness that keeps the piano part light, allowing Irvine to soar. And the sense of unbroken line, here and in Shostakovich's D minor Sonata, is absolutely marvellous. A highly unified account of two great masterpieces."
"this is a very well-conceived recording, the performances displaying a sureness and reliability of approach."
Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording Venue: CREAR, Lochgilphead, Argyll
Recording Dates: 7-9 September 2007
Release Date: 28 July 2008 Catalogue No: DCD34158 Total playing time: 1:10:00