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on 8 April 2003
These are absolutely gorgeous recordings of both pieces. Indeed, these are the first ever recordings of both pieces, both recorded just months after their world premieres in the USSR, in 1956 and 1959. Sony have done an excellent job with the remastering, and the sound is crisp and clean.
As for the playing - Oistrakh and Rostropovich in their prime, with Shostakovich present and advising during both recordings - what more needs to be said. Shostakovich dedicated the First Cello Concerto to Rostropovich, his pupil and friend, and he almost seems to breathe the music. Oistrakh is magnificent in the Violin Conecrto, especially in the fast and furious finale. The New York Philharmonic under Mitropoulos and the Phildaelphia Orchestra under Ormandy are pretty damn good as well, and both pieces are fiendishly difficult in places.
Sorry this is praise is a little over the top, but it is entirely deserved!
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on 8 August 2001
Still the best recordings I have heard of both concertos. There is a rare, almost disturbing depth to the slow movements and virtuosity which does not detract from the music in the fast movements. In both concertos, the fiendishly difficult cadenzas wind up to an earth shattering climax of dazzling virtuosity. But what really sets these recordings apart is that the artists seemed to have a real understanding of what Shostakovich had to say. Definitely to be recommended!
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on 31 March 2009
Two of the twentieth century's greatest musicians play two of the twentieth century's greatest concertos, in each case dedicated to those same musicians by the composer. It can't get any better than that. These are wonderful, heart-stirring perfomances of great music.
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on 9 August 2012
Shostakovich's music is a particular favourite of mine, but I had not heard his cello concerto before a performance at this year's (2012) Proms, where the cellist was Daniel Mueller-Schott. This recording is teamed with David Oistrakh's version of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto - making sense, since these works were originally written for these performers. I could wish for a bit more information in the sleeve notes, since they're just reproductions of the original LP notes, but that's a minor quibble.

The violin concerto was originally recorded in mono, though it's hard to tell - it's been beautifully re-mastered. Oistrakh's playing is authoritative and delicate, and he and the orchestra (the New York Phil) under Mitropolous make a good team.

The cello concerto is fantastic, very well served by Rostropovich's warm tone and technical ability, and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy. The opening, with its solo cello introduction, is ridiculously catchy - almost playful - though there are undercurrents of antagonism and hints of something darker, as is usual for Shostakovich.

This disc is thoroughly recommended.
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on 4 May 2015
Shostakovich was a genius and here his music is played by two fellow geniuses. Love the violin concerto by probably the best violinist of the last century. However, the cello concerto is one of the very greatest pieces of classical music ever composed - thrilling and threatening, and yet whimsically melodic throughout. Only a genius could do that. Shostakovich was the bridge between the great Russian music of the 19th century and the modernists of the 20th century with one major difference, you can listen to his music, utterly enthralled by it's savage beauty.
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on 13 June 2009
Superb performances by the dedicatees of Shostaovich's two best known string cocertos. Never likely to be surpassed and a 'must have' in any music lovers collection.
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on 20 April 2012
This disc has the wonderful first recording of the Shostakovich 1st cello concerto with Rostropovich and the Philadelphia Orchestra with wonderful sound (just like the original LP which I used to have) - the supporting notes with the CD are fascinating revealing that the recording was made in a hotel ballroom - obviously of some size given the warm resonance - the horn solos are terrific!
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on 20 January 2004
Oistrakh penetrates Shostakovich's first violin concerto in a way nobody else does, the sheer depth, the excitement, the desolation, and it's decoming a cliche with Oistrakh but THE DEMONIC INTENSITY, it could almost have been written for him, which of course it was. The only choice with Shostakovich's first is which of the many Oistrakh recordings do you go for. Well I know most people would say if you want authenticity you have to have Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic, but in a 20th century work, what is authenticity! I've listened to the 1957 Praga recording 'in Prague' which, as usual, is badly recorded, but also a little, well, and I know it's not a real word 'un-driven' by Mravinsky with the Czech Philharmonic; and I've still got the 1956 recording in Leningrad by Melodiya (on RCA 'The Essential')with the Leningrad Philharmonic; but I don't think you can beat this recording with Mitropoulos, it's in Mono but very well recorded, and again maybe something to do with the recording quality, this recording seems driven not only by Oistrakh but by the conductor as well. As for the the Cello Concerto, well I think you can do a lot better with Natalia Gutman on Live Classics with Kondrashin, but Rostropovich would be most peoples first choice, I just think Shostakovich can be pushed a lot further, so buy both.
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on 7 September 2015
Definitive readings!
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on 14 August 2015
A classic, sound quality is not great though. as you would expect.
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