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Alexander Knaifel

Ivan Monighetti violoncello
Tatiana Melentieva soprano
Piotr Migunov bass
State Hermitage Orchestra
Saulius Sondeckis Principal conductor
Lege Artis Choir
Boris Abalian Artistic director
Lamento (1967, rev. 1987) for violoncello solo.
Dedicated to the memory of Leonid Jakobson

Blazhenstva (1996)
The Beatitudes/Die Seligpreisungen
for soloists, orchestra and choir.
Dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich for his 70th birthday

Recorded March 2006
ECM New Series 1957

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Following on from the critically-acclaimed “Amicta Sole” album, Russian composer Alexander Knaifel presents two strikingly different compositions, inspirationally linked through the figure of Mstislav Rostropovich. Knaifel’s background as a cellist is put to good service in the 18 minute Lamento for solo cello (written 1967, revised 1987). The scope of the instrument’s expressive potential is brought into play from the first furious sounds. Monighetti, who was Rostropovich’s last student at the Moscow Conservatory, rises to the work’s dynamic challenges. “Blazhenstva” in contrast is a radiant meditation on the Sermon on the Mount, for soloists, orchestra and choir, written as a 70th birthday present for Rostropovich in 1996. Monighetti here has a triple role - as pianist, cellist and conductor.