Raykhelson: Concertos for Violin and Viola
Click on cover for high-resolution image
£8.50 to Discovery Club members
(member discounts on MP3s also)

Price includes postage and packing

Comment on this album

Igor Raykhelson: Viola Concerto; Violin Concerto

Catalogue Number: TOCC0130
EAN: 5060113441300
Release Date: 13 February 2012
Duration: 60:16

Violin Concerto in C minor
Viola Concerto in A minor

Yuri Bashmet, viola
Nikolay Sachenko, violin
Novaya Rossiya Orchestra, orchestra
Claudio Vandelli, conductor
Alexander Sladkovsky, conductor

In the words of his friend the violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet, the composer-pianist Igor Raykhelson – born in Leningrad in 1961 and now resident in New York – ‘possesses a superb mastery of both classical and jazz idioms’. The unashamed Romanticism of Raykhelson’s Violin Concerto (2007) and its emphasis on melody place it downstream from Korngold, and though the Viola Concerto (2005) has its darker moments, its vigorous, jazz-tinged finale has the knock-about good humour of Rodion Shchedrin.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
1-3 Violin Concerto in C minor (2007)

Igor Raykhelson, composer
Nikolay Sachenko, violin
Novaya Rossiya Orchestra, orchestra
Alexander Sladkovsky, conductor

(first recording)
1 I. Moderato ma non troppo 15:47 play
2 II. Elegy: Andante Cantabile 7:29 play
3 III. Allegro con moto alla tango 7:43 play
4-7 Viola Concerto in A minor (2005)

Igor Raykhelson, composer
Yuri Bashmet, viola
Novaya Rossiya Orchestra, orchestra
Claudio Vandelli, conductor

(first recording, recorded live)
4 I. Largo sostenuto 13:21 play
5 II. Allegro non troppo 2:42 play
6 III. Andante affettuoso 5:59 play
7 IV. Allegro 7:15 play



Igor Raykhelson, composer

Yuri Bashmet

Yuri Bashmet, viola

Nikolay Sachenko

Nikolay Sachenko, violin

Novaya Rossiya Orchestra

Novaya Rossiya Orchestra, orchestra

Claudio Vandelli

Claudio Vandelli, conductor

Alexander Sladkovsky

Alexander Sladkovsky, conductor
[credit: Oleg Nachinkin]


An excellent introduction to the sound world of Raykhelson

[…] Rachmaninoff is a clear model (to the point of quotation in the Viola Concerto), with Raykhelson drawing on his predecessor’s success in bridging Russian and American tastes. But the Romanticism is up against competition from Raykhelson’s jazz side, with swung rhythms and jazzy chords appearing in the finales of both works. […] Raykhelson looks back to the 1920s and ’30s for his classical sound. The opening of the Violin Concerto sounds like a quotation from the Berg, with a rising and falling figure of open fifths. But if the melody is Bergian, the treatment is very much Rachmaninoff. The orchestral textures are expertly voiced, but are always on the thick side. […] The concertos are well served by both soloists, and violinist Nikolay Sachenko has nothing to fear from comparison with his more esteemed viola-playing colleague. Both give engaged and precise accounts, and both are able to dominate the orchestra without their tone ever sounding forced. They are both able to switch straight into the jazz when required, and Yuri Bashmet’s louche hotel lobby sound is a particular treat in the finale of the Viola Concerto. The Novaya Rossiya Orchestra presumably draws on years of experience performing Rachmaninoff to give these beautifully flowing and expressive performances.

[…] This disc should provide an excellent introduction for anybody seeking to explore the sound world of Igor Raykhelson. It’s a world of unreconstructed and unapologetic Romanticism. Adorno would turn in his grave at the thought of it, but those with a taste for expressive melodic writing may be more sympathetic. And if you’re curious about what violin and viola concertos by Rachmaninoff might have sounded like, they would probably have sounded something like this.

Gavin Dixon Fanfare November 2012


Bob McQuiston Classical Lost and Found 14th October 2012

Great appreciation of the composer’s style

I am not a musician, but I appreciate beautiful music that draws me completely into another zone. Complex relationship between its emotional content and technical mastery on the part of the musicians takes my breath away every time I listen to this CD. I am glad that the composer did not reject traditional tonality, melody, instrumentation, and structure.

Mindlin Amazon 22nd April 2012

Lush, neo-romantic string concertos

Not knowing a thing about the composer, I fell into samples of the tracks provided by the label, Toccata, on their website. Being a ‘string concerto nut’, I was rivoted by these offerings and had been waiting with bated breath for the full download. Both of these works are full blown concertos, yet with a delicate, airy beauty that is unique in modern classical music. The relationship between soloists and orchestra is well balanced and the developments are solid. Harmonies are complex and melody is huge. Very tonal and diverse. At times I hear Prokoviev like textures and other times a Rachmaninov climax. Both pieces are original, but harken to the early twentieth century Russian sound. Well worth the wait.

Matthew L. Pumphrey Amazon 17th April 2012


0 comments – add a comment