Alexander Ramm Plays Britten Cello Suites
Firma Melodiya presents an album of Benjamin Britten’s music for solo cello performed by Alexander Ramm. “The great and noble human essence of Benjamin Britten equally nourishes any manifestations of his musical genius; Britten's works are his self-portrait of the man,” wrote Mstislav Rostropovich about Britten. The most eminent English composer of the twentieth century, who, after a two-hundred-year hiatus, again raised the musical tradition of Britain to the heights of the musical Olympus, fulfilled his creative potential in a variety of genres. The composer’s connections with Russian music and musicians were significant, but Rostropovich was the one with whom Britten had the closest friendly and creative contact. Under the influence of the genius performer’s art, Britten returned to instrumental music. So, he wrote a cello symphony and a cello sonata for Rostropovich. The cycle of Suite (No. 1) for solo cello, which Dmitri Shostakovich ranked among to the best chamber pieces, followed. For a decade, Britten worked on a cycle of three cello suites, in which he combined the compliance with Baroque examples, echoes of European neoclassicism of the twentieth century and unlimited admiration for the art of Mstislav Rostropovich. Like Shostakovich’s famous Eighth Quartet, Britten's suites contain self-citations from his other works, which help expose their figurative and symbolic programme; the last suite contains citations from Russian folklore and Orthodox songs as a sign of a profound creative connection. The art of the greatest representative of the Russian cello school inspired many composers and brought to life one of the brightest creative pages of the genius British composer. Benjamin Britten’s cello suites are performed by Alexander Ramm. A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Professor Natalia Shakhovskaya, one of Rostropovich’s students, Ramm, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, is a prize-winner of the prestigious international competitions, including the prize of the Geneva-based Neva Foundation in 2011 and a silver medal at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015. Ramm has won the international fame of an outstanding cellist who combines vivid artistic virtuosity with in-depth comprehension of the music he performs.