This is an exceptionally accomplished debut recording from cellist Laura van der Heijden, winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2012. It includes Soviet composers’ irritated and defiant responses to the Communist regime’s 1948 decree on what they could write. Prokofiev’s 1949 Sonata is a blistering, angry work, performed here with passion and guts. Myaskovsky’s 1948 Sonata, which, ironically, went on to win the Stalin Prize, harks back to the Romantic age—the richness and depth of van der Heijden’s tone is a thing to behold. The final, melancholy Lyadov Prelude is an aching portrait of Russian despair.
Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119
Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119: I. Andante grave