41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2003
I became interested in Shostakovich' preludes and fugues partly because I like Bach's approach in "The Well-Tempered Clavier" and partly because I have appreciated some of Shostakovich' other works, such as the symphonies 5 & 7, and his second piano concerto which I discovered when seeing "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" in Disney's "Fantasia 2000". I am also a great fan of Jarrett, both when playing jazz and classical music (e.g. Bach). The combination of Jarrett and Shostakovich should be an obvious 5-star. Or?
When I first heard some of these recordings I became somewhat disappointed that they did not give that "wow" feeling I had expected. After a few listenings, I was still not really impressed. Not long after, I bought the Scherbakov recording on Naxos, and suddenly I was carried away by the music. I have not heard the Nikolayeva or Ashkenazy recordings, but they usually recieves praise as well. It is probably much a matter of taste. Returning to Jarrett again, he does play very well, but there is something lacking to make the music full justice. It is hard to point out exactly what.
If you are a Jarrett fan, this recording gives you yet another performance by the amazingly talented pianist - five stars. But if you know Shostakovich by heart and may have heard this cycle by other performers, this recording will score lower - three or four stars. The reason to buy this recording should be Jarrett rather than Shostakovich.