Cellist Vladimir Orloff, Volume 2 = TCHAIKOVSKY: Rococo Variations, Op. 33; BOCCHERINI: Sonata No. 6 in A Major; VALENTINI: Sonata in E Major; HAYDN: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major; Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major: Adagio and Allegro molto – Vladimir Orloff, cello/ Marietta Demian, piano/Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/
Sergiu Comissiona (Tchaikovsky)Munich Chamber Orchestra/Hans Stadlmair (Haydn D Major)/Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Victor Desarzens (Haydn C Major)
Doremi DHR 7896, 80:15 (Distrib. Allegro) ****:
Vladimir Orloff (b. 1928) is an Odessa-born cellist of extraordinary stamp; after he emigrated to the West, he joined the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1971, Orloff became a member of the University of Toronto Music Faculty, whose Professor of Cello position he occupied until 1996. His accomplished cello technique and suave tone have ingratiated themselves to esteemed colleagues, Paul Tortelier, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, and innumerable conductors, from Sir John Barbirolli to Vaclav Neumann, Zubin Mehta, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.
This disc captures Orloff in concert 1969-1972, from the archives of the Hessian State Radio (Boccherini and Valentini, 1969) and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. The Munich appearance with Hans Stadlmair comes from a 1970 broadcast. In the two ‘classical’ sonatas arranged by Piatti, Orloff finds reliable accompaniment from Marietta Demian, who has her hands full trying to match Orloff’s lightning speeds and diaphanous runs. His spiccato is a wonder unto itself, the bow seeming barely to touch the strings. Orloff’s capacity for blazing quickness finds equal opportunity in Tchaikovsky’s last variation, but Orloff’s cantabile no less evokes our awe, as in the legato, melodic passages in Tchaikovsky (7 March 1970) and Boccherini. For pure excitement, the 1972 truncated (missing movement one) Haydn C Major’s last movement should have your ears quivering. The D Major Haydn will remind auditors of both Gendron and Casals, but with more luster than the former and none of the romantic mannerisms of the latter. The tonal warmth consistently commands our affection, besides the sheer voluptuousness of the frenzied gloss this artists creates. The grace notes and trills in the Haydn C Major pass so furiously before our ears we must hear them again. Conductor Comissiona, a pupil of Silvestri, brings his own color sense to the Tchaikovsky; and working with Orloff, they put grace and timbre foremost on the color palette. I would rank this realization alongside that of Varga and Abendroth for classically supple execution. A musically rich find in every sense.
— Gary Lemco