Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor; Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat; Piano Concerto No. 2 in F

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COMPOSERS: Shostakovich
LABELS: Carlton BBC Radio Classics
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor; Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat; Piano Concerto No. 2 in F
PERFORMER: David Oistrakh (violin), Natalya Shakhovskaya (cello), Peter Donohoe (piano); Philharmonia Orchestra, Moscow RSO/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, BBC SO/Maxim Shostakovich
CATALOGUE NO: 15656 91702 ADD
This is a worthy memorial to the dedicatee of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto. In the opening phrases, Oistrakh reminds us that there was no violin to touch his for subtle nuancing of a line; high-octane successors like Vengerov and Mordkovitch, better served by full-bodied studio sound in the second and fourth movement whirlwinds, rarely get as close to the heart of the matter. The First Cello Concerto is a looser performance, with nothing like the same teamwork between soloist and orchestra; though it does give us a chance to hear the astonishingly rich tone of Shakhovskaya, a cellist little known outside Russia, in the slow movement. Donohoe and the composer’s son provide a racy bonus, enjoying the sudden intrusions of a grand or threatening manner into a piece that would otherwise be a straightforward crowd-pleaser. David Nice

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