Mstislav Rostropovich (1927 – 2007), cellist and conductor, was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. In addition to his outstanding interpretations and technique, he was well known for both inspiring and commissioning new works which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before or since. He gave the premieres of over 100 pieces, forming long-standing friendships and artistic partnerships with composers including Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev and especially Benjamin Britten.
Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, and was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights.
The London Symphony Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading orchestras. Its many activities include an energetic and ground-breaking education and community programme LSO Discovery, a record company LSO Live, a music education centre LSO St Luke's and pioneering work in the field of digital music.
Since its formation in 1904 it has always attracted excellent players from all over the world, many of whom have flourishing solo, chamber music and teaching careers alongside their orchestral work. The LSO draws on an enviable roster of soloists and conductors, including Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, LSO President Sir Colin Davis, and Principal Guest Conductors Daniel Harding and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Continuing the Orchestra’s long association with film music, the LSO has recently recorded soundtracks for Twilight: New Moon, Tamara Drewe and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2). The orchestra also features on radio, TV, computer games and in-flight music programmes, and has launched the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first-ever online orchestra.
Hugh Wolff is an American conductor with a global perspective. Born in Paris, he is Harvard-educated, spent almost a decade at the helm of a German orchestra, and lived in London for several years. He recently returned to the US and set up home with his family in Boston, where he is Director of Orchestras at the New England Conservatory of Music. He is looking forward to working more extensively with American orchestras.
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Panufnik's last work, the Concerto contrasts an intensely contemplative Adagio with a powerful dance-like Vivace. The scoring is sparse and the performance is impassioned - true to the composer's dedication to poetic expression without sentimental excess.
Recorded in association with Technics
"There is a searing sense of witness to this impressive and moving piece."
BBC Music Magazine 1993
Recording date: 25 June 1992
Recording venue: Abbey Road Studios
Engineers: Mark Vigars, David Flower
Producer: Colin Matthews
Editing & mastering: Marian Freeman for Modus Music
Cover image: Photo by James McCormick
(P) 1992 NMC Recordings Ltd