Trying to characterize Russian music, one almost involuntarily finds descriptions such as "soulful", "melancholic" or even "emotionally charged", attributes that could also apply to the sphere of sound of the violoncello. Benjamin Kruithof and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie conducted by Conrad van Alphen play Tchaikovsky's short tasteful salon piece Pezzo Capriccioso, the cheerful, elegant and witty Rococo Variations, the Nocturne in C-sharp minor from his piano cycle Opus 19 and the slow movement (Andante cantabile) from his String Quartet No. 1 op. 11 - plus Glazunov's Chant du Ménestrel op. 71 and Dawidov's peacefully flowing Sunday Morning op. 20. Popper's Fantasy on Little Russian Songs op. 43 combines the lyrical mellifluousness and sheer unfailing bravura that also distinguished Popper's own cello playing. Rachmaninov's Vocalise Op. 34, No. 14 completes RUSSIAN MOOD.