Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dmitry Shostakovich, Colin Stone, Rustem Hayroudinoff|
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 (Arranged for Two Pianos)
Listen to Samples
Masterpiece of a performance
Mr. Louis Blois | New York | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who has had a fascination with Shostakovich's mammoth 4th Symphony and its spectacular range of expression, this performance is indispensable. Reducing to two pianos a work that boasts such a dazzling array of orchestral effects is one thing. Executing same as a self-sustaining and totally compelling concert piece is quite another. Hayroudinoff and Stone pull it off brilliantly. The playing is crisp and exacting. LIsten to the humongous fugue in the first movement, a section that seems almost impossible for a full orchestra to execute. In this 2-piano version every note of this whirlwind section comes forward to be fully savored. The same remarkable clarity characterizes the rest of the performance. They provide exactly what one expects from such a transcription: a clear resolution of the work's rhythmic, melodic and harmonic complexities. The pianists also embrace the 4th's fantastic range of psychological states -- ecstasy, anguish, melancholy, agitation, tragedy -- with effortless power and grace. What is remarkable is that they still manage to pull the whole thing together in a performance that is never less than totally absorbing. The 4th Symphony is not for everyone's taste, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But for those who have already formed an attachment to this early work of genius on the edge, this once-in-a-lifetime performance will blow you away."
After you fall in love with the orchestral version, make thi
S. Vitalich | Seattle, WA USA | 07/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My first exposure to the Shostakovich 4th was a live performance with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the San Francisco Symphony in November 2005. It has been many years since I have been so immediately and totally captivated by a work. Ever since, I have been playing the recording by Jansons/Bavarian Radio Symphony (highly recommended) to death.
Hearing this two piano version is giving me fresh insight into a piece that I know pretty well by now. Certain passages that are unclear in the orchestral reading are fresh and crisp. Harmonies--and dissonances--are clearly distinguishable. My favorite passages in this recording are the furious fugue section in the first movement and the finale of the third movement. Hayroudinoff and Stone's playing is amazing. They utilize the entire tonal spectrum of the piano to good effect, and their playing is so absolutely together you'd swear one person is playing.
Shostakovich himself reduced the 4th to this two piano version at the time of the symphony's composition in 1936. Until its eventual premiere in 1961, this two piano version is the only way people knew of the piece. It may therefore be regarded as an "officially authorized" supplement to what is arguably one of Shostakovich's grandest and most daring compositions."