Nikolay Shugaev presents varied program of cello works
The three works have one thing in common. They’re all works for cello and orchestra, composed by Italians in the mid-20th Century. And that’s about all they have in common.
Gian Malipiero’s work is a full-blown cello concerto. Giorgio Ghedini’s is a neo-classical composition for two cellos (and orchestra). Alfredo Cansala’s is an unassuming Notturne e Tarantella.
Nikolay Shugaev is the principal cellist for all three works. He plays with a rich, singing tone. Sugaev adapts his playing to the style of the composer, emphasizing their differences.
Dmitri Prokofiev joins him for the Ghedini work. His playing style is different than Shugaev’s yet complimentary to it. And it fits perfectly with the intent of the music.
“L’Oment” (The Elm Grove) represents two herbs that appear to grow separately. Yet underneath the ground their roots intertwine, nourishing each other. The two cellos — as the herbs — do just that. Their lines intertwine, harmonizing and supporting each other. Shugaev and Prokofiev blend while retaining their individuality.
Malipiero’s brother was a renowned cellist. And that’s who this concerto was written for. Shugaev plays the work with aggressive exuberance. It left me with the impression that this music was both fun and rewarding to play. It certainly was to listen to.
Gian Francesco Malipiero: Cello Concerto
Giorgio Federico Ghedini: L’Omenta
Nikolay Shugaev, cello
Dmitrii Prokfiev, cello
Rostov Academic Symphony Orchdestra; Valentin Uryupin, conductor