Rachmaninov / Shostakovich – cello sonatas


Shostakovich’s opus 40 is one of his earlier works. It was written before any of the Russian censorship hit him. It is interesting, because it is the only work of its kind Shostakovich wrote. It bears resemblance to his famous fifth symphony, even sharing some of the themes. But it is for cello and piano.

And as a result, the piece has entered into the standard repertoire for any self respecting cellist. Here it is combined with Rachmaninov’s sonata. A much older work, but the contrast is interesting: Rachmaninov shows a more conservative romantic view, where Shostakovich shows a more modern approach. Both are romantic however.

The recording I have is a disappointment however. This is a historical recording made in the fifties, and then made to resemble stereo twenty years later.

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