The cello blossomed as a solo instrument across Europe at the turn of the 19th century. Building on the foundations laid by Boccherini, Haydn and Beethoven, composers spent more time exploring the instrument’s melodic potential, particularly in its sonorous upper register. As a result of their efforts, works for two or more cellos became increasingly commonplace.
The works on this release showcase the music of composer/cellist Bernhard Heinrich Romberg, who gave the first performance of Beethoven's Cello Sonatas, Op. 5 in 1797 (with the composer at the piano). Two years earlier, Anton Kraft similarly took part in the premieres of Beethoven's Piano Trios, Op. 1, while his son Nikolaus followed in his father's footsteps, furthering this composer/cellist tradition.
Alexander Rudin and Emin Martirosian, Cellos Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra
The emergence of the cello as a solo instrument at the beginning of the 19th century encouraged composers to explore its melodic and sonorous potential, with compositions for two or more cellos becoming increasingly popular. Bernhard Romberg and Anton Kraft both had personal connections to Beethoven – their works offer inventive timbres, intimacy and substantial virtuosity. The world premiere recording of the sparkling Concertino by Kraft’s son Nikolaus completes an album of unique gems, influenced by Beethoven and Haydn, which helped to usher in the golden age of the cello.
Listen to an extract from Romberg’s Concertino for 2 Cellos, Op. 72
About the Artists
Alexander Rudin is a world-renowned cellist, conductor, pianist and teacher. His vast repertoire encompasses a wide variety of works for cello that spans four centuries and includes many rarities, from concertos by C. P. E. Bach, Triklir and Dvořák to contemporary pieces by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Andrei Golovin and Valentin Silvestrov. He has served as artistic director and principal conductor of Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra since 1988.
Emin Martirosian has performed across France, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Moldova and the Czech Republic. In 2010 Martirosian was awarded First Prize at the XV Canetti International Music Festival and, as part of a trio, the Grand Prix at the Maria Yudina International Competition for chamber ensembles. Martirosian is currently a soloist and member of the Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra.
The Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra is a unique ensemble which performs in various genres, styles and formations, from small ensembles of around ten players performing Baroque repertoire on period instruments, to large Romantic symphonies for up to 50 musicians. The artistic policy of the orchestra is to perform rare music of the 18th and 19th centuries; it has premiered works by C. P. E. Bach, Hasse, Tricklir and Alabiev, among others.