Russian Soul - CC1008
"Daniil Shafran (1923 - 1997) was a staggering player, whose agility - witness his near impossible feats of virtuoso athleticism in the central Allegro Giusto of the Prokofiev - was positively violinistic in its fearless velocity. This, combined with a musical intensity and independence of thought, resulted in performances of breathtaking authority and interpretative near-meltdown. If Shafran's white-hot reading of Prokofiev comfortably survives comparison with Rostropovich's two commercial accounts, his Kabalevsky (of which he was the dedicatee) is finer still - a fitting companion to his classic première recording of the first Concerto on Revelation, also with the composer conducting. Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925 -1992) was from 1944, the cellist in the State Quartet of Georgia for which much of his earliest music was written. Typically for composers of this region, Tsintsadze tended towards long-breathed, Oriental-style melodies (Eastern European rather than Asian) with a well-developed ear for rhythm and instrumental colour. Shafran's performance works wonders in making music of less than top-drawer quality sound like a million dollars, despite a touch of distortion in the high-kicking Finale. The orchestra items demonstrate no such problems and have been most skilfully transferred. There are excellent annotations from Andrew Stewart."