Igor Raykhelson: Piano & Cello Concertos (CD)

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Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Kniazev, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Hobart Earle

Igor Raykhelson was born in Russia in 1959 and cut his teeth as a jazz pianist; a meeting with the violist Yuri Bashmet turned him towards classical music – and he took his jazz heritage with him.

A Fanfare review described the Toccata Classics release of his Violin and Viola Concertos – as ‘a world of unreconstructed and unapologetic Romanticism’.

Raykhelson’s concertos for piano (2007) and cello (2010) were written for the two soloists on this recording, two of the major Russian instrumentalists of the present day, pianist Boris Berezovsky and cellist Alexander Kniazev.

The music maintains Raykhelson’s emphasis on a melodic language with its roots in Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

Boris Berezovsky is a regular guest of the the world’s major orchestras and a frequent guest on its most important recital stages. Alexander Kniazev’s enormous repertoire includes a huge number of cello compositions and many works for organ. His recordings include Bloch’s Schelomo with Svetlanov and the Reger cello sonatas with Edouard Oganessian – with whom he recorded three of his own transcriptions of Mozart violin sonatas for Toccata Classics.

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International Record Review

"Both works receive stupendous performances. Berezovsky and Alexander Kniazev, dedicatee of the Cello Concerto, play with consummate virtuosity and total conviction. The composer is fortunate indeed in having such illustrious champions...The Russian State Symphony Orchestra plays to a high standard."

MusicWeb International

"The piano writing is strongly redolent of Rachmaninov – both the third and fourth concertos in particular – but there are even brief motifs that put me in mind of Rimsky-Korsakov...Scoring is lush and very lyrical."

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Raykhelson: Piano Concerto in G minor
Boris Berezovsky (piano)

Raykhelson: Cello Concerto in B minor
Alexander Kniazev (cello)