Crank up the volume and enjoy. There are three great orchestras - Philadelphia Orchestra, The Academy of St Martin- in- the- Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra, three fine conductors - Marriss Jansons, Sir Neville Marriner and Jerzy Maksymiuk, a fine pianist and and an excellent trumpet player - Dmitri Alexeev and Philip Jones. There is a great riot of the various types of music Shostakovich could write - jazz, light music, dance music, film music, programme music and two splendid piano concertos. The piano is very often used percussively and there are almost cartoon chases as well as movements of great tenderness. I think one of the most splendid titles in classical music comes on track 15 on this CD - 'The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite,The Assault on Beautiful Gorky.' Love it - enjoy and then enjoy some more.
I can't claim to be anything other than a music aficionada, certainly not a great pianist myself, but I enjoyed hearing various pieces of Shostakovich on Classic FM, bought myself a copy of this CD, lent it to my mother, and have since had to buy three more copies for other relatives, and they have all enjoyed it immensely. (One relative IS a good pianist, so she has more insight than I do!) I had thought Shostakovich inaccessible, but was wrong. There is humour here, as well as artistry. Try it, and enjoy.
This is a really good quality recording of Shostakovich's Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 etc. I have only marked it down one star because not all of the tracks are to my liking, and I skip those tracks when playing it.
Firstly, this is a nice collection of some of Shostakovich's more playful pieces and it makes for easy listening, particularly the jazz pieces. In general the recordings and performances are good, but in a few places it seemed like the Philadelphia Orchestra had decided to pull the pitch more than jazz really requires.
We've played the CD a few times now, so on balance I'd recommend it for anyone who wants a nice selection of Shostakovich.