The album includes works by French and German composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as works by Russian composer and organist Alexey Shmitov. The program is distinguished by a unique integrity of style and mood. The noble combination of the low, deep voice of the cello and the enveloping organ timbre also serves to this unity. The album is perceived in one breath and leaves an impression of profoundness and sublime emotionality.
The duet of Alexey Shmitov and Alexander Zagorinsky was formed a long time ago. The musicians have performed together many times and recorded a number of studio projects. Their ensemble interaction is unique. The most difficult things that require some kind of unanimous sensation rather than professional elaboration sound as if they were composed to be performed by this particular line-up. It is so when we speak about the opuses written by Shmitov himself, but next to them the unbreakable accord of the interpretations in the Wermann and Dupré sonatas and the Rheinberger and Widor pieces is even more noticeable.
Alexander Zagorinsky is a prominent representative of the national cello school, a student of Natalia Shakhovskaya, and prize-winner of the 9th International Tchaikovsky Competition. The cellist’s colossal repertoire comprises all the major masterpieces for his instrument created in the 18th to 20th centuries. The works of Edison Denisov, the leader of the academic avant-garde, hold a special place among them. When the composer was around, he entrusted the cellist with the recording of the chamber anthology crowned with the Cello Concerto. Nikolai Kapustin’s music, a unique cross between classical and jazz, was also close to Zagorinsky, but in a different way.
Alexey Shmitov is a graduate of Tatiana Nikolayeva’s piano class. As a student and postgraduate, he also majored in organ under the guidance of the legendary Leonid Roizman. He continues to perform as a versatile keyboard player appearing solo, with an orchestra, and as an ensemble member. He has played all the organs located in Russia, traveled to many foreign countries, been a judge at a number of festivals, and recorded programs for radio and television in Russia, Germany, and Belgium.
The program was recorded at the Organ Hall of the Cultural and Educational Center Dubrovitsy in Podolsk in 2019. The featured organ is Opus 1005 built by Freiburger Orgelbau Hartwig und Tilman Späth in Hugstetten, Germany, in 2015.