on 25 December 2012
ok ok i'm biased - i was priviliged to attend two concertos of Vengerov + Rostropovich playing the 2nd violin concerto + a selection of the string quartets at the London Barbican back in 1999 and the performances were incredible. this apex re-issue with rather good photo artwork cover brings together the former separate cd releases of the then young virtuoso violinist Vengerov, with the legendary former Shostakovich dedicatee and friend , cellist,legend turned fine conductor : Rostropovich.
the original releases of Shostakovich violin concerto with Prokofievs frst, then the 2nd concertos by both composers,received justifiably rave reviews here in the uk for their intensity, authenticity + powerful communication of arguably the soviet era's best composer - one Dmitri Shostakovich. and so - to this budget re-issue of DSCH's two concertos on one disc.
excellent recording, visceral,dazzling performances make this apex re-issue a bargain, The 1st concerto - premiered by Oistrakh back in the 1960's is also a classic version. although for me - this version here notched up the intensity further to telling effect. an essential compelling work. however, beware the 2nd concerto is altogether a more acquired taste for it subdued darker writing - almost a parody of the first with its world weary feeling.
overall - essential for Shostakovich + 20th Century music fans alike.