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Shostakovich: Violin and Cello Concertos Original recording remastered
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OISTRAKH / ROSTROPOVICH / ORMA
Eugene Ormandy was Shostakovich's great interpreter (along with Bernstein) in the West, and he was entrusted with many U.S. premiers of the great Russian composer's symphonies and concertos. This recording of the First Cello Concerto was made while both the composer and his cellist friend were on tour in the United States, so it has the imprimatur of Shostakovich himself. The Violin Concerto similarly was recorded just days after its U.S. premiere in New York with the Oistrakh, for whom it was written. This is as distinguished a pair of performances as you're likely to hear, and although the Violin Concerto is mono, the sound never gets in the way of your enjoyment. An event. --David Hurwitz
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic, sound quality is not great though. as you would expect.Published 11 months ago by Oliver
I bought this for my husband for Christmas, after we had heard a splendid live performance of the violin concerto in Perth (Scotland). Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2014 by RosyB
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... Read morePublished on 20 April 2012 by Steviefromworcesteruk