a brand new amazon buy as here is the composer himself playing both piano concerti, along with solo works - three fantastic dances, 5 preludes +fugues . the recording is in mono , from 1958 + with Andre Clutyens and the Orchestre de la Radiodiffusion Francaise in essential recordings for all Shostakovich (DSCH) fans.
the recorded sound although mono is perefectly fine overall, lacking a little presence obviously but DSCH plays both Piano Concerti very well indeed , nicely placed in the soundstage with incisive, exciting and articulate playing of these rightfully acknowledged 20th C classic works. Conductor and his cohorts give admirable support with well judged tempi, string playing and plaintive trumpet in the first concero in particular. the h-a-p-p-y motif always raises a wry smile also. DSCH like Prokofiev always has a sly wink to knowing friends , themselves + perceptive audiences with their occasional little quotes in their music.the music is of course deeply felt but wears its emotions lightly with its knockabout humour yet darker undertow, a delight. i have versions by Alexeev, Leonskaya, Rudy + List but the composer playing his own works so well is definite must have also.
the 3 Fantastic Dances are early (op.5) short pieces + ok if a little slight in content. the Preludes + Fugues are for me a little underpowered here by the composer himself. ok but perhaps a little lacking in emotional "steel" + dynamics, coming across here a slightly polite versions of his own works. the Bach works - DSCH modelled them on, do not sound in danger of being overtaken here.. i would like to compare DSCH with Tatiana Nikolayeva 's acclaimed versions at some point. the cd booklet is informative with some rare images of the composer himself also.
overall though, this EMI historic recording is strongly recommended for all DSCH obsessives.