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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
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Audio CD, 29 May 2020
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- Product Dimensions : 12.5 x 14.5 x 1 cm; 100 Grams
- Manufacturer : Hyperion
- Manufacturer reference : 39072322
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Label : Hyperion
- ASIN : B085K7PHGY
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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The prospect of hearing Alina Ibragimova in two of the most important concertos written for the violin is in itself irresistibly enticing, but Shostakovich aficionados will also welcome an opportunity to hear the rarely performed original opening to the Burlesque of No.1, subsequently made less fearsome for the soloist at the request of the work's dedicatee, David Oistrakh.
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I had not heard Shostakovich's Second Violin Concerto before, and it was an exciting discovery. Its somewhat spare, mysterious style reminds me of the composer's Fifteenth Symphony. It is quickly becoming another favourite.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this CD.
The completed first concerto is virtually unique among violin concertos in having four movements, the emotion of which runs deep; the resulting concerto is genuinely symphonic - not solely for having four movements - and Shostakovitch himself once called it 'a symphony for violin and orchestra'. I mentioned the preceding to give due credit to Vladimir Jarowski, Director and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra 'Evgeny Svetlanov' for an exquisite accompaniment. The concerto is presently, justifiably regarded as one of the great violin concerts of the century. There is a greatly significant aspect to the performance of the first concerto, offering the listener the exceptionally rare opportunity of hearing the concerto as originally conceived in that the folk-like burlesque theme opening the finale is stated by Alina Ibragimova.
The first concerto is a personal expression arising from first- hand experiences deep in Shostakovitch's creative subconscious mind of the cost of the war (the USSR had seen over 26 million military and civilian deaths in four years of conflict more than any other nation including Germany). The concerto was dedicated to the distinguished violinist, David Oistrakh. It was completed in 1948 but the cultural uncertainties of the time prevented him from releasing his deeply serious and often 'private' now violin concerto to the public. It was not until October 1955, with Stalin dead, and a more liberal regime in place, that the violin concerto was premiered with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Shostakovitch, similarly dedicated the second violin concerto to Oistrakh on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. The premiere was given in Bolshevo, near Moscow, on 13 September 1967 by Oistrakh with the Moscow Philharmonic under Kirril Kondrashin. The work calls for a somewhat smaller orchestra than the first concerto. Unlike the first concerto, the second has three movements, and is slightly shorter in duration. There are thematic similarities between the works, and at times rather stronger textural ones - both concertos begin identically in giving the initial melodic idea to cellos and double basses in octaves alone, almost a kind of linking code. The nature of each concerto rarely permits lightening of tension, yet they are in many ways very different compositions. If the first concerto can be thought as the personification of the composer (Shostakovitch's famous DSCH 'motto'is heard), the second has subtleties that may almost imply a portrait of the soloist.
I very strongly recommend the disc.