C0075. GENNADY ROZHDESTVENSKY Cond. Leningrad Phil.: Symphony #4 in f (Tschaikowsky), Live Performance,
9 Sept., 1971, Royal Albert Hall, London; w. MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH: Cello Concerto #1 in E-flat (Shostakovich), Live Performance, 9 Sept., 1960, Edinburgh. (England) BBC Legends Stereo / Mono 4143. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 684911414325
“By 1971 Gennady Rozhdestvensky no longer stood in Mravinsky’s shadow at the Leningrad Philharmonic. His Tchaikovsky Fourth with the orchestra (from the 1971 Proms) is a very different interpretation from Mravinsky’s - less keenly animated throughout, more mysterious in the shadowlands of the opening movement’s limping first waltz as well as in the dream-worlds he makes of the inner movements. The scherzo is a real surprise….it’s thrilling to hear the crowd roaring its excited approval even before the symphony’s final chord comes to an end….At moments like the start of the cadenza, though, it could only be a live performance on which we’re privileged to eavesdrop.”
- David Nice, ClassicalMusic.com
“Two concerts that feature the gifted, fiery Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, including the British premier of the Shostakovich First Concerto on 9 September 1960 with its dedicatee, Rostropovich. Critics of the premier noted the tone, technique, and temperament of the stellar cellist, who plied the tricky metrics of the piece with suave aplomb, balancing forceful rhetoric with lyrical nuance. Both in the opening movement and in the work’s impassioned cadenza, Rostropovich manages a propulsive momentum that palpably carries the audience away.
Perhaps more intriguing, because unexpected, is the subdued rendition of the Tchaikovsky Fourth that Rozhdestvensky and the Leningrad Philharmonic bring to Royal Albert Hall 9 September 1971, given the kind of monumental histrionics the same ensemble delivered under Evgeny Mravinsky. The first three movements might remind audiophiles of the famed Furtwängler reading with the Vienna Philharmonic. Instead of the blazing periods of unisono discipline we hear in Mravinsky’s virtuoso readings, the Leningrad players are permitted to enjoy each others’ sonorities and relaxed blends of colors. Only in the last Allegro con fuoco does Rozhdestvensky cut the rope, opting for the kind of blazing peroration that had been Mravinsky’s wont, a clear announcement that a successor to that master’s command of the large canvas and incandescent colors was at hand.”
–Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition, 1 Sept., 2004