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Classical Music Review

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Composers: Various
Performed by: Nada Radulovich (cello) and Cullan Bryant (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 August 2018

Navona Records release Unexplored, which showcases four works by Tchaikovsky, Cassadó, Rudnytsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov performed by cellist Nada Radulovich and pianist Cullan Bryant...

For fans of traditional classical music, the pieces on Unexplored are essential listening. Not only are the works chosen diverse and emotive, but the performances see the players pour their heart and soul into the recordings. It's pretty obvious that Nada Radulovich (cello) and Cullan Bryant (piano) have an affinity with the material as their performance feels like two people who are incredibly fond of each note of every piece.

The album contains 12 tracks (50 min, 23 sec) and includes:

Tchaikovsky’s 'Six French Songs, opus 65', dedicated to Madame Desirée Artôt de Padilla.

Cassadó's (1897-1966) Sonata of 1924, is a four movement work dedicated to Donna Giulietta von Mendelssohn who was said to ‘sing like a mermaid and play the piano like Liszt’. This work, presented here for the first time, represents various moods and dances. At times poignant, dramatic, playful, or uplifting, it is an effective synthesis of tradition cast in striking harmonic terms.

'Romantic Fantasie for Cello and Piano, Op 43', by Ukrainian composer Antin Rudnytsky (1902-1975), displays a conservative 20th-century harmonic language, while exploring the folk idioms of the composer’s native land. It was also while listening this that I realised that this is probably the main inspiration for John Williams's score for Schindler's List.

One of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s best-known works, 'The Flight of the Bumblebee' closes the album. This unique transcription of the work was created by pianist Bryant in his effort to remain true to the original score, and was inspired by his years of collaboration with Radulovich.

A truly beautiful release which is diverse and incredibly well produced.

Track listing:

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Six French Songs opus 65
transcribed by Nada Radulovich
01 - Sérénade (1:56)
02 - Déception (2:54)
03 - Sérénade (3:24)
04 - Qu’importe que l’hiver (2:30)
05 - Les Larmes (3:02)
06 - Rondel (1:17) #

Gaspar Cassadó
Sonate pour Piano et Violoncelle, 1924
07 - Rapsodia (9:14)
08 - Aragonesa (4:51)
09 - Saeta (5:28)
10 - Paso-doble (3:40)

Antin Rudnytsky
11 - Romantic Fantasy for cello and piano opus 43 (10:38)

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
12 - Flight of the Bumblebee (1:34)
transcribed by CULLAN BRYANT


Darren Rea

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