Daniel Müller-Schott: souvenir of Russia

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Cellist Daniel Müller-Schott reveals how his album of Russian repertoire draws on the inspiration he felt as a participant in the 1992 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians

I feel close to all the pieces on this recording, but there are some that I grew up with which have special significance for me – for example, Deux morceaux op.20 by Glazunov, and also his Chant du ménéstrel, a gem that I find incredibly moving and emotional. I first heard those pieces at the age of 15, when I took part in the 1992 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow. This was my first encounter with Russian culture within Russia – exploring the country’s music and its traditions. This is why the CD is named Trip to Russia.I still remember the competition’s opening ceremony at the Moscow Conservatoire. Music schools from all over Russia had sent their best students to take part. The standard of playing and the level of seriousness, conviction and discipline were a huge shock to me. Luckily, there was still one week until the beginning of the cello competition (the piano and violin contests started right away), so I locked myself in my hotel room and practised like mad, trying somehow to keep up with the other students.

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