A rarity from the British Library Sound Archive - Mstislav Rostropovich in a dramatic live account of Richard Strauss's Don Quixote given during an early visit to the London Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1964.
Rostropovich only recorded the work eleven years later in 1975 in a studio version.
Haydn's Cello Concerto in D from 1965 follows on Rostropovich's account of the earlier Concerto in C (BBCL 4198-2) which was given excellent reviews at the time of it's release.
Richard Strauss: Don Quixote, Op. 35, TrV 184
Theme: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
Variation 1: Das Abenteur mit den Windmuhlen
Variation 2: Der Kampf gegen die Hammelherde
Variation 3: Gesprache zwischen Ritter und Knappe
Variation 4: Das Abenteur mit der Prozession von Bussern
Variation 5: Don Quixotes Wacht in der Sommernacht
Variation 6: Die verzauberte Dulzinea
Variation 7: Der Ritt durch die Luft
Variation 8: Die Fahrt auf dem verzauberten Nachen [Barcarolle]
Variation 9: Der Kampf gegen die vermeintlichen Zauberer: der Angriff auf die Monche
Variation 10: Zweikampf mit dem Ritter vom blanken Monde; Heimkehr des geschlagenen Don Quixote
Finale: Don Quixotes Tod
Franz Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Hob.VIIb:2
I. Allegro moderato
III. Rondo: Allegro
“Rostropovich's playing is masterly, dominating each performance with its magnetism as well as its resonance.”
“This BBC Legends issue celebrates the playing of Mstislav Rostropovich relatively early in his career. The disc also provides a welcome reminder that, at a time when his reputation has rather fallen back, Malcolm Sargent always produced his best performances at the Proms and that he was always at his best in late Romantic music such as that of Strauss. Rostropovich's playing is masterly, dominating each performance with its magnetism as well as its resonance. Harry Danks, principal viola in the BBC SO for many years, makes a colourful character out of the faithful Sancho Panza, bringing out the wit of the writing even if his tone is no match for the resonant cello of the principal soloist. Each of the 10 variations is presented in clean separation, with the orchestral players relishing the often spectacular orchestral effects, like the imitation of the bleating of sheep in the second variation, the brilliant percussion-writing in the 'Ride through the Air' and the powerful brass and ominous timpani beats in 'Defeat of Don Quixote'. That leads up to the most glorious playing of all from Rostropovich in the long epilogue marking the Don's death. He uses a very free vibrato, and yet in the close of his solo his pianissimo is breathtaking. For radio recordings of the mid-1960s the sound is excellent and Tully Potter's notes are exemplary.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.