Search - Dmitry Shostakovich, Paavo Berglund, Maxim Shostakovich :: Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto No. 1

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto No. 1
Dmitry Shostakovich, Paavo Berglund, Maxim Shostakovich
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto No. 1
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1


      
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The best-sounding of Oistrakh's various recordings
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 08/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Because of scrambled labels and overlapping reissues, I've lsot track of how many times David Oistrakh recorded the Shostakovich Violin Concerto #1. My favorite is a concert recording from Prague (my copy is on the Olyumpia label) with the great Yevgeny Mravinsky on the podium -- it's more intense and searching than this 1972 recording with the shallow Maxim Shostakovich as conductor. But the sound on the Mravinsky is awful, and this one sounds quite good.

As the dedicatee of the work, Oistrakh owned this concerto for as long as he lived, but he was a dutiful Soviet artist, and I don't think he could bring himself to probe the bitterness, satire, and tragic disappointment underlying Shostakovich's writing. The one place where Oistrakh touches greatness here is in the overwhelming third movement passacaglia with its searing solo cadenza. For those thirteen minutes he's as moving as he's ever been.

The late French cellist Paul Tortelier was an elegant musician, so he's not perfectly suited to a work as muscular and freewheeling as the Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1. His reading under Paavo Berglund is quite impetuous, however, and I like the way Berglund digs into the biting finale. The sonics are fine, with the soloist placed very close up. On first hearing, I thought that Rostropovich, Maisky, and Wispelwey had nothing to fear, but as I sit this moment listening to Tortelier's haunting, ghostly slow movement, I am changing my mind. This performance is a sleeper and belongs in the first rank, its biggest appeal being a palpable sense of strain that brings out the music's inner struggle.



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