Dutilleux & Lutosławski


Cello Concertos
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Orchestre de Paris/Serge Baudo, Witold Lutosławski
Warner 567 8672

Rostropovich excels in two concertos written for him, beguiling in the mysterious soundworld of the Dutilleux and thrilling in the Lutosławski.

Cello Concerto
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Berlin Philharmonic/Herbert von Karajan
DG 447 4132

Rostropovich recorded Dvořák’s Concerto several times. This superb version with Karajan followed soon after his dramatic, and historic, BBC Proms performance in 1968.

Cello Concerto No. 1
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

Sony Classical 517 1892

In arguably the most famous concerto written for him, not to mention one of the most fiendishly difficult, Rostropovich delivers a performance of extraordinary passion.

Cello Symphony
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); New Philharmonia Orchestra/Benjamin Britten
Decca E425 1002

Britten himself conducts the dark and often deeply unsettling work that he wrote for his great Russian friend in 1963.

Sinfonia Concertante
Mstislav Rostropovich; Royal Philharmonic/Malcolm Sargent
Warner 380 0132


Written for a young Rostropovich by a composer in failing health and under the suspicion of the authorities, the cellist is unmatched in reflecting the piece’s bleak origins.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.