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Shostakovich: Violin Concerto, No. 1 / Glazunov: Violin Concerto, Perman Live, Original recording remastered

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Zubin Mehta
  • Composer: Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov, Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (15 Sept. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0000AF1KZ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 554,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

PERLMAN / MEHTA / ISRAEL P. O.

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Format: Audio CD
I approached this CD with a certain amount of scepticism. Perlman is one of the world's greatest violinists but - I thought - his playing would be too romantic, too damn *beautiful* for Shostakovich, whose music often demands a harsh, even ugly sound.

The Shostakovich Violin Concerto no. 1 is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. If you don't know it I strongly urge you to try it. It is Shostakovich in his most emotionally naked mode. There is no Soviet-style (or satirical, depending on your point of view on Shostakovich) 'epic' bombast here. Instead, there are two heartbreaking slow movements that move from being relatively conventionally beautiful to a sourer sound in a familar Shostakovichian (?) way (mvts 1 and 3) And there are two fast, exciting movements of teeth-gritting angst (mvts 2 and 5). Plus a long cadenza featuring the DSCH motif, which is like an increasingly frenzied confessional soliloquy.

As for the performance, it is indeed more beautiful and less 'hard' than the ones by Oistrakh and Mordkovitch that I already knew. Perlman brings out the affinity with Jewish music that was an essential component of Shostakovich's work at this time. This music alternates between weeping and dancing on in the shadow of death, and Perlman weeps and dances with it. It is the most soulful performance I have heard. (And 'soulful' does not mean 'indulgent'.)

I don't mean to ignore the other works on this CD - they are fine works and the whole adds up to an excellent programme. But it is the Shostakovich concerto that lifts this CD out of the ordinary, and this performance has given me new insights into a work I thought I knew well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mehta is ordinary on the podium, but Perlman is commanding as soloist 25 July 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Itzhak Perlman is ubiquitous, even appearing on the Oscars broadcast, and it's easy to generalize about him as a musician of less than profound intent. If you sort through his many, many recordings, however, some leap out as special efforts. This Shostakovich First Cto. is one of them. He plays the opening Nocturne with ravishing tone and the kind of innate command that Oistrakh brought to this work originally. It's a shame that Zubin Mehta is so prosaic on the podium, because Perlman moves from strength to strength.

I'm sorry he decided to slash away at the great four-minute cadenza rather than playing it for the kind of lyrical tragedy Oistrakh brought to it, but in every other respect this is a fine rendition. As a capper we get three light-hearted dance arrangements for violin duet by Shostakovich, for which Perlman's compadre Pinchas Zukerman is recruited--they bring a smile in this engaging fluff.

My interest isn't held by the songful but rather forgettable Glazunov concerto. For polish and beauty of tone it would be hard to surpass Perlman, however. Bringing two such fine performances together on one CD is a real boon to his fans. Only the fact that Vengerov surpasses these readings, not to mention Oistrakh himself, causes me to hold back the fifth star.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 7 Mar. 2015
By Rose Hinkley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very nice.
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