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Cello Concerto in C minor, Op 66

composer
1945

 
From its opening moments, Myaskovsky’s Cello Concerto in C minor Op 66 is an unmistakably Russian affair. The opening Lento’s dark, portentous opening has often been compared to the brooding ending of Tchaikovsky’s swansong Symphony No 6. This dolefulness gradually gives way to a flowering of melodious writing for the cello, subtly balanced by the odd melancholic rumination. The second and final movement, an Allegro vivace, has an initial spring in its step with further hints of Tchaikovsky, now in a chattering, more playful mood. Again the joy is but momentary: a long-spun threnody, peppered with specks of sweetness and infused with folk-like melodies, builds to a troubled orchestral climax. The concerto’s final moments are remarkable; the mood softens into the major and the predominantly dark colouring of the work lightens upwards in register and to a calm close. In comparison with Elgar’s disappointedly abrupt, Edwardian termination, Myaskovsky’s concerto closes serenely, the long and troublesome journey eventually affording a form of tranquillity—an acceptance of what is.

from notes by M Ross © 2007

Recordings

Elgar & Myaskovsky: Cello Concertos
Studio Master: SIGCD116Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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