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Chopin: The Complete Works for Cello and Piano Nathaniel Rosen HDTT15545

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Chopin: The Complete Works for Cello and Piano Nathaniel Rosen
As part of its ongoing releases of treasures from the distinguished Desmar catalog, sourced from original master tapes, HDTT is pleased to add this second recording by the outstanding American cellist Nathaniel Rosen, partnered by the excellent American pianist Doris Stevenson. HDTT’s earlier release of the Complete Works for Cello and Piano of Robert Schumann by this same duo was greeted with glowing enthusiasm, both for its superb musical qualities and its astonishingly natural sound.

Chopin (1810-1849) wrote relatively little chamber music, all of it featuring the piano as an important element and all calling for a genuine virtuoso pianist. His three works for cello and piano, two of which were inspired by his close friendship with the French cellist Auguste-Joseph Franchomme (1808-1884), consist of two early showpieces, (1) the Grand Duo concertant in E Major, B. 70 (on Themes from Meyerbeer’s ‘Robert le Diable’) written jointly by Chopin and Franchomme, and (2) the Introduction & Polonaise brillante in C Major, Op. 3, plus the mature masterpiece, the Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65, dedicated to Franchomme. In the originals of the two earlier pieces, the cello part is occasionally overshadowed by the brilliance of the piano writing, and in these pieces Rosen plays arrangements by his illustrious teacher and mentor, Gregor Piatigorsky, who successfully reassigned some of the piano lines to the cello to more equitably balance the importance of the two instruments. Rosen’s brilliant playing is perfectly paired with Stevenson’s impressive pianism in all of these challenging pieces.

These recordings were made in 1976, before Rosen was awarded the Gold Metal in the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1978. He is heard playing his magnificent 1738 Domenico Montagnana (ex-Servais) cello. Born in California in 1948, Rosen began study with legendary cellist Gregor Piatigorsky at University of Southern California at age 13. He also studied chamber music at USC with Jascha Heifetz and William Primrose, and while in college at USC, studying with Piatigorsky, he became a founding member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. After graduating from USC at age 22, he served as Piatigorksy’s teaching assistant for five years until the latter’s death in 1976. The following year he became principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under André Previn, who after Rosen’s win at the Tchaikovsky Competition told Time Magazine: “I kept telling him that he would win because he is the finest young cellist in the world.”

Rosen’s subsequent international solo career included appearances with, among others, the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and Leipzig Gewandhaus, as well as participation in major chamber music festivals. He has further held teaching posts at a number of major universities and conservatories. He presently lives with his wife and family in Japan.

Regarding Rosen’s playing, The Strad reported: “Coupling a formidable technique with tremendous musical empathy . . . [Rosen] seems to have that elusive quality of communicating some inner soul.” As pointed out by The New York Times: “Nathaniel Rosen is a virtuoso cellist of a sort audiences love to idolize and other cellists gather around to hear in mingled appreciation and envy. . . . Fast and accurate fingers, steady bow arm, dark mahogany tone, sensuous phrasing—Mr. Rosen has all the attributes for attracting and holding a public.” On another occasion, the The New York Times called him “an instrumentalist of uncommon skill . . . musical perception and sophistication . . .exquisite examples of caressing, melting cello tone, dazzling displays of graduations in dynamics.”

HDTT has also released Nathaniel Rosen’s acclaimed Grammy-nominated John Marks Records recording of the Bach Solo Cello Suites. The Los Angeles Times stated of this recording: “Rosen conquers [the Suites] with performances of dark-toned, probing intensity …”

Title: Chopin: The Complete Works for Cello and Piano
Artist(s): Nathaniel Rosen, Cello
Doris Stevenson, Piano

Recording Info: Recorded in 1976, location(s) unknown. For Tracks 1-4, produced and engineered by David B. Hancock; for Tracks 5-6, produced by Max Wilcox and engineered by Richard Gardiner. Thanks to Terry King for valuable assistance with this release.
Restoration by John H. Haley, President, Harmony Restorations, LLC (early 2024)

Transfer of original master tapes by Robert Witrak, Chief Engineer, HDTT, at DXD 32bit 352.8khz (early 2024), using a modified Studer 810 tape deck feeding a Merrill Tape Preamp.
Digital: Merging Hapi Analog to Digital Converter clocked by an Antelope Audio 10MX Atomic Clock
Power Conditioning: Shunyata Research Everest 8000 for all components
All components grounded to Shunyata ALTAIRA Hubs

Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65
1 - Allegro moderato (10:44)
2 - Scherzo: Allegro con brio (4:59)
3 - Largo (3:57)
4 - Finale: Allegro (7:02)

5 - Grand Duo concertant in E Major, B. 70 (on Themes from Meyerbeer’s Robert leDiable), written jointly by Chopin and Franchomme (arr. Piatigorsky) (13:07)
6 - Introduction & Polonaise brillante in C Major, Op. 3 (arr. Piatigorsky) (10:02)

Co-Released with Harmony Restorations LLC

Booklet, compilation, restorations and remasterings:
© 2024 High Definition Tape Transfers, Inc.

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