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Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun (1997, rev. 1998) was written for Rostropovich’s 70th birthday and is, as the composer readily admits, wholly bound up in the great cellist’s personality. Basing the structure around the text of St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun (you don’t really register the words), the energy and expression for the piece emanates from the solo cello and percussionists. This remarkably compelling work is here given a performance of tremendous commitment, as is The Lyre of Orpheus, a concertante work for violin (magnificently played here by Kremer), percussion and string orchestra.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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