Cello music flourished in Russia in the 19th century. Tchaikovsky was central to this profusion of composition, writing the celebrated Variations on a Rococo Theme, music of Mozartian charm, heard here in the composer’s version for cello and piano. Karl Davïdov, who Tchaikovsky called ‘the tsar of all cellists’, contributed a melodious, lyrically inventive and virtuosic Fantasy on Russian Songs. Arensky’s graceful character sketches and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Serenade are suffused with Romanticism, while the lusty Fantasy on Gipsy Songs by Konstantin Liadov (father of the more famous Anatoly) is the earliest of these pieces and the least known.