Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) is famously known to cellists for his Cello Concerto Op. 87, written in 1945-46 and premiered by nineteen year old Mstislav Rostropovich. Music for cello holds an important place in other areas of Glière’s output, his chamber music for example. While he is best known for large-scale works such as symphonies, ballets, operas and symphonic poems, Glière is also a master of these more intimate forms. Small scale pieces, his duets that include the cello, are the program for this Naxos CD. There are duets for violin and cello, for cello and piano, and for two cellos. While these are not first recordings, most of them appear to be the only currently available versions.
Gliere’s music continues the Russian romantic line of Borodin and Glazunov, with an evident influence of impressionism. The music is gracefully melodic, colorful, completely tonal, and very pleasant. Changes in sonorities as the cello is partnered with violin, with piano, or with another cello, provide textural variety, ensuring there is no ear-fatigue in this 72 minute program of cello music.
The warm resonant tones of cellists Martin Rummel and of Alexander Hulshoff are joined by tasteful contributions from violinist Friedemann Eichhorn and pianist Till Alexander Korber. This is an obvious acquisition for cello enthusiasts, but its circulation deserves to be much wider than that. It is very unique and beautiful music that many listeners would enjoy.
A highly decorated composer in Soviet Russia, Reinhold Glière maintained a low political profile and a conservative but astonishingly inventive melodic style. His interest in national harmonies and folk-music emerges in the Twelve Album Leaves, and his remarkably important contribution to cello repertoire is demonstrated both in his mastery of small forms in the Duets Op 39, and a unique ability to create orchestral sonorities in the Duets Op 53, a rare example of an original cycle for the delightful combination of two cellos.
Glière was born in Kiev,Ukraine, then in Russian Empire. He entered the Kiev school of music in 1891, where he was taught violin by Otakar Ševčík, among others. In 1894 Glière entered the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Sergei Taneyev (counterpoint), Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (composition), Jan Hřímalý (violin; he dedicated his Octet for Strings, Op. 5, to Hřímalý), Anton Arensky and Georgi Konjus (both harmony). He graduated in 1900, having composed a one-act opera Earth and Heaven (after Lord Byron) and received a gold medal in composition. … For more information, please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhold_Gli%C3%A8re.
Martin Rummel, cello
Cello: Martin Rummel
After early lessons from Wilfried Tachezi and a soloist’s diploma from what is today the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität, where he was its youngest graduate ever at the time, Martin Rummel continued his studies with Maria Kliegel in Cologne, as well as with William Pleeth in London, whose last pupil he was to become. … For more information, please visit www.martinrummel.com/home.
Alexander Hülshoff, cello
Cello: Alexander Hülshoff
Alexander Hülshoff has appeared as guest soloist with major international orchestras. Chamber music plays a significant rôle in his work and his cello performances include appearances with the Bamberg Trio and fellow musicians of the highest distinction. He has been guest instrumentalist at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Enescu Festival, Kfar Blum in Israel and … For more information, please visit www.alexander-huelshoff.de/.
Till Alexander Körber, piano
Piano: Till Alexander Körber
Born in Tübingen, Till Alexander Körber studied at the Freiburg/Breisgau Musikhochschule from 1986 and from 1990 to 1995 was a pupil of Hans Petermandl at the Vienna Musikhochschule. He has won various prizes as a pianist and composer, including the Interpretation Prize for Contemporary Music of the Concours Européenne, first prize in 1991 of the Austrro Mechana and in 1997 awards in the Guido dʼArezzo Composition Competition of the Salzburg Mozarteum. … For more information, please visit www.naxos.com/person/Till_Alexander_Korber/37012.htm
Friedemann Eichhorn, violin
Violin: Friedemann Eichhorn
Born in Münster in 1971, Friedemann Eichhorn studied with Valery Gradow in Mannheim, Alberto Lysy at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, and Margaret Pardee at The Juilliard School in New York. He holds a doctoral degree in Musicology from the University of Mainz. … For more information, please visit www.friedemanneichhorn.com/.
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Reinhold Glière: Ballade for Cello and Piano, Op. 4 (1902)