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Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, May 2013

…Rostropovich’s…intensity, matched only by his instrumental precision, is a sight to behold; animated, but with a preternatural focus, Rostropovich elevates Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Pezzo capriccioso, and Romeo and Juliet’s Fantasy overture from mere repertoire to ecstatic expression, taking the audience with him. The well-documented friendship between Rostropovich and Britten certainly played a part in this dynamic, visceral presentation, with the unique bond between musician and conductor lending great emotional gravitas to the performance. © 2013 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, March 2013

This is an extraordinary souvenir of extraordinary performances. Rostropovich was at the height of his musical powers. Britten was a formidable conductor, and the two musicians are as one musically and psychologically. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide, December 2012

Rostropovich’s way with the Variations on a Rococo Theme, to which he gives rich tone and a high level of expressiveness, is altogether winning, and if his style is almost too big for the rather slight Pezzo capriccioso, it is nevertheless highly impressive to hear and watch his full command of the cello’s nuances. Britten’s emotional but not overdone handling of Romeo and Juliet is a fitting capstone to the Tchaikovsky part of the program. And the Pears-Britten excerpts…from Gloriana, recorded in 1970, make a wonderful bonus, showing the skill of Britten’s vocal writing for both soloist and chorus—and the intimate interrelationship between Pears’ talents and Britten’s own. Here as in the Fisher-Dieskau Schubert performances, there is considerable pleasure in watching the way the soloists approach the music, immerse themselves in it and take from it the full measure of expressiveness that it contains. © 2012 Read complete review

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