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Prokofiev & Shostakovich: Violin Concertos No. 1
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2001
Whilst I had heard both of these pieces before, I could not have said I was particularly familiar with either. This has changed because of this recording, which is full of energy and bravado, yet stunningly lyrical in the slower passages. For anyone who has a liking for either composer, I urge you to listen and fall in love with this recording. Both are quite different to what you might expect from the composers, yet familiar enough to recognise where the music is coming from. Vengerov's showy style suits the solo part exceptionally well - you could tell the pair of them very much enjoyed the performance. Their compilation of the second concertos (also teldec) is further worth a listen - not quite up to this recording, but still stunning.
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2 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2010
Seems that even russian can forget how their parent generations were terriorized by communism. I have no idea how Vengerov grew up or was raised, but fair to say that Rostropovich's timely escape from 'mother russia' labeled him unable to bring out the full terror and desperation that Shostacovich envisioned his work to capture, simply because Rostropovich has experienced none. But, compare to Vengerov, Rostrovich is still fairly decent. Guess his life-time experience and close contact to other russian musicians and his own relatives still give him a solid interpretation background.

Now, lets' pick on Vengerov. I always liked his techniques, his rendition on many show pieces, his sweet tones, his romantic flares, but Shostacovich is too much for him. His sweetness and romantic air in the slower movement is an insult towards people who survived the communist regime, even more so towards people who did not survive! Who is he kidding! Can he really imagine how Shostakovich, agonizing over his days not knowing when and how his suffering will end, watching his colleagues escape, collapse or die, will have the mood to compose something that "cute"? Stop pouring you petite bourgeoisie crap on us!

Beyond the superficial beauty of his interpretation lies the shallowness of his mind. It is an utmost artistical failure. This is the first recording from Vengerov that makes me angry.
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