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The WarnerNuzova duo — cellist Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova — makes its recording debut with five late-Romantic Russian works on an album dedicated to the memory of one of Warner’s mentors, the illustrious Russian cellist, composer, and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (1927–2007).
Fittingly, two of the pieces were originally written for Rostropovich: Nikolai Miaskovsky’s rarely heard Sonata No. 2 in A Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 81; and Alfred Schnittke’s Baroque-inspired Musica nostalgica, for violoncello and piano.
This is the first American recording of Miaskovsky’s mellifluous Sonata No. 2, a work that’s rarely performed outside of Russia. It will be a discovery for most listeners.
Alexander Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8, No. 11, is a beautiful encore piece brimming with chromatic harmonies; Sergei Prokofiev’s Adagio from Ten Pieces from Cinderella, Op. 97b, is based on a duet from his ballet; and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19, is a riveting four-movement work from the same period as his Second Piano Concerto.
Nikolay Myaskovsky: Cello Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 81
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante cantabile
III. Allegro con spirito
Alexander Scriabin: 12 Etudes, Op. 8 (arr. for cello and piano)
12 Etudes, Op. 8: No. 11 in B flat minor (arr. for cello and piano)
Sergei Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19
I. Lento - Allegro moderato
II. Allegro scherzando
IV. Allegro mosso
“Warner is a warm, confident and lyrical player who allows the narrative of the music to unfold like a well-told story - a skill that can only come from having real insight into the architecture and soul of this music.”