Notes and Editorial Reviews
Cello music flourished in Russia in the 19th century. Tchaikovsky was central to this profusion of composition, writing the celebrated Variations on a Rococo Theme, music of Mozartian charm, heard here in the composer’s version for cello and piano. Karl Davidov, who Tchaikovsky called ‘the tsar of all cellists,’ contributed a melodious, lyrically inventive and virtuosic Fantasy on Russian Songs. Arensky’s graceful character sketches and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Serenade are suffused with Romanticism, while the lusty Fantasy on Gipsy Songs by Konstantin Liadov (father of the more famous Anatoly) is the earliest of these pieces and the least known.
Dmitrii Khrychev is a prominent chamber and orchestral musician and soloist. Born in Leningrad in 1973 into a family of engineers, he began studying cello at age 7. In 1995 he formed the Nevsky String Quartet, with whom he was a prizewinner in seven international musical competitions, including the Dmitri Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition.
The chamber version of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations does not suffer Wilhelm Fitzenhagen’s subsequent tamperings. Some may miss that version's colorful orchestral backdrop, but you gain from hearing the composers original idea. Davidov’s outgoing Fantasy is full of those soulful songs so beloved by Russians, while he offers the cellist a feast of virtuoso passages. Dmitrii Khrychev, principal cellist of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, is a fine soloist, and well-partnered by pianist Olga Solovieva.
– David's Review Corner (David Denton)
The best-known piece in this collection of mainly obscure Russian music for cello and piano is Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, in its original and most engaging conception. The cellist is a virtuoso player par excellence, with a terrific technique. He plays very vividly and enthusiatically, if at times a shade strident in tone in his zeal. This is quite a discovery for those who enjoy music for cello.
– Classic FM