Alexander Warenberg and Giuseppe Guarrera recorded their debut album with TRPTK containing sonatas by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich for cello and piano.
The Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40, was one of Dmitri Shostakovich’s early works, composed in 1934 just prior to the censure by Soviet authorities of his music, notably the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which was deemed too bourgeois and decadent for the Soviet people. It was also a period of emotional turmoil in his life, as he had fallen in love with a young student at a Leningrad festival featuring his Lady Macbeth. Their affair resulted in a brief divorce from his wife Nina, and it was in August, during their period of separation, that he wrote the cello sonata, completing it within a few weeks and giving its premiere in Moscow on 25 December with his close friend, the cellist Viktor Kubatsky, who was also the piece’s dedicatee.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19 is being regarded as one of the most important cello pieces of the 20th century. It is also the last piece of chamber music that Rachmaninoff wrote. The sonata belongs to the first compositions that came after a depressing and non productive period in Rachmaninoff’s life, caused by great criticism over his first symphony. In 1900 he had finally gained enough confidence to continue composing, resulting in his famous 2nd piano concert and the sonata for cello and piano.