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Schumann's Complete Works for Cello & Piano cellist Nathaniel Rosen & pianist Doris Stevenson HDTT12581

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Schumann's Complete Works for Cello & Piano cellist Nathaniel Rosen & pianist Doris Stevenson


HDTT is honored to present the first of a series of high-resolution releases based upon original master tapes of Desmar Records, an independent classical label in the late 1970’s that, under the leadership of artistic visionary Marcos Klorman, created an LP catalog of tremendous distinction. Desmar released recordings of such outstanding artists as conductor Leopold Stokowkski, cellist Nathaniel Rosen, flutist Julius Baker, harpsichordists Fernando Valenti and Lionel Party, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and an array of great pianists, including Claudio Arrau, Harold Bauer, Richard Goode, Joseph Hofmann, Alicia de Larrocha, and Ervin Nyiregyházi. Desmar insisted on the very highest technical standards, and as a result, its recordings stand up beautifully today. Most of these outstanding recordings will be seeing their first digital releases on HDTT.

HDTT's first such release is Schumann's Complete Works for Cello and Piano, featuring great American cellist Nathaniel Rosen and renowned pianist Doris Stevenson. Rosen made his first recordings for Desmar Records, including this recording of the complete Schumann works for cello and piano. The recording date and venue are unknown—Mr. Rosen recalls that they were recorded at some point prior to 1978, the year that he won first place in the revered International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He is heard playing his magnificent 1738 Domenico Montagnana cello, one of whose previous owners was François Servais (1807-1866), who invented the cello endpin in standard use today. Rosen acquired this important instrument in 1972. Although Rosen has had an important and busy career as a front-rank soloist and chamber musician, he has clearly been under-recorded. HDTT is privileged to bring a number of his stunning recordings back into release in hi-def formats, including his two excellent recordings for Desmar and some of his subsequent recordings, by special arrangement with the distinguished audiophile label, John Marks Records. Releases of some wonderful live recordings are planned as well.

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 died in 1976. The following year he became principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under André Previn. At age 17 he had been a finalist in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and in 1978 he returned to win the Gold Metal, being the first American to do so since Van Cliburn. This win launched his professional career as a leading international soloist. That career has included solo 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 including Marlboro Music Festival, Casals Festival, Manchester Music Festival, Sitka Festival (where he was a founder) and Park City International Festival. He has further held teaching posts at a number of universities and conservatories, including University of Southern California; California State University, Northridge; University of Illinois; Manhattan School of Music; Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH; and Southern Methodist University. Since 2011, he has lived with his wife and family in Matsuyama and Yamanakako, Japan.

Pianist Doris Stevenson has won lavish praise from critics and public alike in performances around the world. She has soloed with the Boston Pops and played at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Salle Pleyel in Paris and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her acute sensitivity and profound musicality have made her a sought-after partner with some of the leading lights in string playing, including, in addition to Nathaniel Rosen, Gregor Piatigorsky, Ruggiero Ricci, Henri Temianka and Paul Tortelier. Early in her career she was invited to play with Heifetz and Piatigorsky, and she was pianist for the cello master classes of Piatigorsky, who described her as “an artist of the highest order.” Miss Stevenson taught for ten years at the University of Southern California and has been Artist in Residence at Williams College since 1987.


“Coupling a formidable technique with tremendous musical empathy . . . [Rosen] seems to have that elusive quality of communicating some inner soul.” The Strad

“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. . . . unaccompanied Bach . . . was always highly musical and sensitive to detail. In Schumann's “Fantasy Pieces” (Op. 73), the cellist seemed entirely at home, his impetuous, ardent style giving the music a composed-on-the‐spot feeling.” The New York Times

“an instrumentalist of uncommon skill . . . musical perception and sophistication . . .exquisite examples of caressing, melting cello tone, dazzling displays of graduations in dynamics.” The New York Times

Read about Nathaniel Rosen’s Gold Medal win at the 1978 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, as reported in Time Magazine, July 17, 1978 (p.74), included in “Cover Art and Liner Notes” below. At that time, Rosen was first chair cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, under conductor André Previn’s baton. Previn told Time that he was not at all surprised by Rosen’s win: “I kept telling him that he would win because he is the finest young cellist in the world.”

Artist(s): Nathaniel Rosen, Cello
Doris Stevenson, Piano
Recording Info: Date and Venue of recording unknown transferred from the original master tapes released by Desmar Records 1978

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 (Fantasy Pieces)
01. I. Zart und mit Ausdruck (Tender and with expression)3:30
02. II. Lebhaft, leicht (Lively, light) 3:31
03. III. Rasch und mit Feuer (Quick and with fire) 4:42
04. Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 9:43
Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 (Five Pieces in Folk Style)
05. I. Mit Humor (With humor) 3:21
06. II. Langsam (Slow) 4:19
07. III. Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen (Not quick, played with much tone) 3:53
08. IV. Nicht zu rasch (Not too quickly) 2:12
09. V. Stark und markirt (Strong and marked) 3:46
10. Mendelssohn: Lied ohne Worte, Op. Posth. 109 (song without words) 4:08

Co-Released with Harmony Restorations LLC

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