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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 [CD]

Dmitry Shostakovich , Antoni Wit , Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 6.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 + Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Antoni Wit
  • Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (30 Jun 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000013YT
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,253 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77: I. NocturneAntoni Wit12:39Album Only
Listen  2. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77: II. ScherzoAntoni Wit 6:480.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77: III. PassacagliaAntoni Wit14:43Album Only
Listen  4. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77: IV. BurlesqueAntoni Wit 5:090.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129: I. ModeratoAntoni Wit13:19Album Only
Listen  6. Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129: II. AdagioIlya Kaler10:14Album Only
Listen  7. Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129: III. Adagio - AllegroAntoni Wit 8:04Album Only

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine but not the best versions of DSCH 25 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD
i bought this naxos cd some ten years ago in order to compare against the hotly recommended Vengerov/Rostropovich teldec label versions. Ilya Kaler here plays very well with good if not particularly inspired orchestral backing + conducting by Antoni Wit of these two fine soviet era concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich (DSCH)

as a bargain first version of Shsotakovich's powerful,haunted concertos - this naxos cd if absolutley fine, with well judged tempi, good if not outstanding violin playing, decent booklet notes on the works history + composition with decent though slightly recessed sound quality - make this cd a good if not first choice buy.
make no mistake though - the 1st violin concerto is on of Shostakovich;s very finest most powerful works - a classic of 20th C music . the 2nd concerto is less so - with rather subdued almost resigned feel to the work.

the Vengerov, Oistrakh , Mordkovitch or Sitkovitsky versions come first i would say for their overall deeper insights + greater passion
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting listening 12 Nov 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Not for background music. I sat down and listened to this for the first time and was intrigued. Demands further attention.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary, insightful performances 12 Feb 2004
By A. Leung - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Ilya Kaler's performances of these two wildly different but equally beautiful and dark concertos are just about flawless. While he is capable of imbuing his tone with a rich sonority, he is not afraid to sound slightly astringent when the occasion calls for it. His reading of the second concerto's powerful cadenza is a case in point: brilliantly phrased, ferociously executed and played with compelling conviction, it is a thrilling demonstration of Kaler's formidable skill. The first movement of the first concerto is also especially memorable, particularly because of the sensitivity and fervour with which Kaler controls the music's nocturnal tension. As a matter of fact, he plays both concertos with seemingly remarkable ease, though this is not to suggest that he scamps them. Far from it: his playing is unremittingly virtuosic and, at times, even poignant. When Shostakovich asks for briskness in a seemingly Mahlerian folk melody, Kayer delivers with infectious energy. Similarly, when anguished reflection is required, he plays with a focused sense of direction and despair. As far as I am concerned, his playing is almost second to none. Oistrakh is perhaps the only real contender, and he should be too, seeing as Shostakovich originally dedicated the second of these concertos to him. Furthermore, Naxos's sound recording is immaculate, though some might take issue with the fact that the violin is slightly too close-miked, a problem which many recordings of violin concertos have.
The only qualm I have is with the orchestra's occasionally perfunctory support. Though Antoni Wit is undoubtedly a great conductor, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is merely competent, lacking the technical flair and impact of world-class ensembles. Their playing is less convincing than it should be in some places- it could be more frenetic in some places and more full-blooded in others- but these shortcomings do not detract from these performances in any serious way. At the end of the day, this is a first-class Naxos release which receives my unreserved recommendation.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best version 28 Dec 2001
By Keli Song - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Shostakovich is one of my favorite composers. I bought several CD versions of Shostakovich violin concerto No.1, such as those played by David Oistrakh, Vengerov, Sitkovetsky, and Ilya Kaler, as the solo violinist. Among those versions, my personal preference is Ilya Kaler's performance. To me, his interpretation is unique and more profound and touching than others. First of all, his playing has a superior quality of golden tone: bright, pure, smooth, and sharp. This golden tone quality fits this concerto wonderfully. Secondly, he let music speak by itself with his tempo and phrasing perfectly judged, which reveal his deep understanding of this music. I do not feel so convinced by other interpretations, which are often faster and thus lose some profound effect. This is most obvious in the third movement. Antoni Wit and PNSO did a great job in the performance. The sound is excellent and tempo is perfectly judged, giving Keler the best support. To me, this is the best performance of Shostakovich violin concerto No.1.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Jewel 6 Aug 2001
By Joe Flute - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have heard other recordings by Ilya Kaler. He is a hidden jewel and his violin playing is spectacular!! Just listen to his performance of the third movement(passacagia)of the Concerto No. 1 Op. 99 and you will be able to see. He plays with real passion and beauty. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest violinist alive and does not receive the credit that he deserves!! If you enjoyed this recording, I recommend Kaler's recording of the Paganini Caprices that is also on the Naxos label.
Just as a side note... I may be wrong but I believe that Kaler is the only violinist to ever win gold medal in all three violin competitions; the Paganini, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky competion.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Shostakovich 20 Aug 2008
By F. Rupert - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I own several versions of the two Shostakovich violin concertos, and these performances, by the under-appreciated Ilya Kaler, are really fine. I love his beautiful tone, excellent pacing and the natural sound of these performances. The Passacaglia (3rd) movement of No. 1 is finely realized and very moving. This is some of the most emotional, genuine music written by anyone for violin and orchestra. Number 2 is less popular (so far) but I think it has a future. It is darker and very Russian. Kaler has technique to burn and is completely on top of these concertos' considerable technical demands. The finale of Number 2 is really challenging and he sounds totally easy with it.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Lively 4 July 2001
By cj the great - Published on
Format:Audio CD
As most of Shostakovich's pieces are, his violin Concertos are very lively. With tons of double stops, octaves, and other things that sound moderately odd from a violin, The first Violin Concerto seems to change between soft and loud; slow and fast. The second has less of that, but spends more time in the slow tempos. Ilya Kaler does a grand job, even though he is not as good as Isaac Stern or Itzhak Perlman. He plays everything almost perfectly, in fact, i have not yet found a mistake in his playing. Dont mind that it is played by the "Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, it sounds just great. Antoni Wit conducts it fine, though i have no other pieces played by any of the people that conduct or play on this CD. If you like these pieces, you should greatly consider looking into one of Shostakovich's Piano Concertos. Particularily his second one, which is in Fantasia 2000 and used to represent the Steadfast Tin soldair.
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