"Why on earth didn't I know that one could write a violoncello concerto like this?" exclaimed Johannes Brahms after his first perusal of Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto. "If I had only known, I would have written one long ago!"
Brahms was excited for good reason. Introduced in London in 1896, the great Dvorak B-minor quickly became the sine qua non of the cello repertoire.
Imbued with lyricism and exuberance, it is, above all, a work that sings.
In the hands of a master cellist, a performance of the Dvorak is one of music's great events.
That should be the case Sunday when Russian cellist Alexander Rudin joins Moscow's Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. at the U.S. Naval Academy's Alumni Hall.
Under the baton of its principal conductor Alexander Lazarev, the Bolshoi -- Russia's oldest orchestra -- also will perform Tchaikovsky's Fantasy-Overture to "Hamlet" and Rachmaninoff's brilliantly scored "Symphonic Dances."
Mr. Rudin is one of Russia's best-known cellists, a prize winner who records frequently for Melodya, one of the premier recording labels in Russia.
"The appearance of the Bolshoi Orchestra in Annapolis presents a rare opportunity to hear Russian symphonic music at its best," said Barry Talley, chairman of musical activities at the Academy.
"This is definitely a program not to be missed."
Tickets may be ordered by calling 268-6060.