Posts tagged as "dmitri-shostakovich"

From Darkness To Light

May 27, 2021

On two days in October 2016, Russian pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy and Australian cellist Catherine Hewgill went into the studio to make their first recording together. An all-Russian program, it features the Cello Sonatas of Shostakovich and Prokofiev with the added pendant of the Rachmaninov Vocalise in an arrangement by American cellist Leonard Rose. […]

The Complete Studio Recordings

November 27, 2017

‘In every way the most transcendentally gifted young piano student I have heard in the last 25 years’ was Percy Grainger’s pronouncement of the young Eileen Joyce (1908–1991) when he first heard her play in 1926. From the goldfields in Western Australia whose capital city is the most remote in the world, Joyce defied incongruous and […]

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Piano Concerto No. 1

May 25, 2016

The first CD release of these priceless recordings from the Decca archives. Kertész brings his blend of thrust and tenderness (and huge architectural conviction) to the Fifth Symphony while John Ogdon and Neville Marriner perform the First Piano Concerto ‘to the manner born’ with not a single high-jink glossed over. Raymond Tuttle provides the fascinating […]

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1

May 25, 2016

Two Russian violin concertos together on a single disc. The performances are staggering, to say the least… just try the finale of the Tchaikovsky to get an idea (which, incidentally, is released complete for the first time on CD). The brooding, expansive Shostakovich makes an ideal foil to the highwire Tchaikovsky, its meditative Passacaglia worth […]

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 13 & 15; Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death

April 29, 2016

Solti came late in life to the music of Shostakovich and in his introduction to the recording of the Thirteenth Symphony (reprinted in the booklet) explains the music’s effect on him. These rare recordings have long been out of the catalogue and are now issued as a 2CD set at super-budget price. Sergei Aleksashkin is […]

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 9, The Age of Gold

April 28, 2016

Venerated for their perky, piquant performances and the ripe, rich Decca sound, Walter Weller’s thrilling readings of Shostakovich’s Symphonies 1 & 9 have long been on the reissue request list. Now, they appear on CD for the first time coupled with another Decca classic of earlier vintage – Martinon’s ‘Age of Gold’ suite.

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Seiber: Quintets

April 22, 2016

An undisputed masterpiece of the Russian repertoire – Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet – is joined by the little known Prokofiev Quintet which had a vexed gestation together with a rarity from the Hungarian-born Matyas Seiber who lived most of his life in Britain. In it, Peter Pears takes the role of narrator of passages from the […]

Cinema Spectacular

April 20, 2016

Bernard Herrmann made some significant recordings for Decca in the late-1960s/early-1970s.  Many of these used the company’s then new audio technology, Phase 4, which brought the music into brilliant light. This collection brings together a selection of British Film Music as well as music by Herrmann himself for a series of Alfred Hitchcock films, including […]

The Art of Oda Slobodskaya

April 20, 2016

Born in 1888, the Russian soprano, Oda Slobodskaya, won a scholarship for secondary education but, having completed her schooling, to her displeasure, found herself working with her parents in a second hand clothes shop. Despite having no formal musical training, she travelled, at the age of eighteen, from her hometown of Vilno (then part of […]

Russian Piano Encores

April 18, 2016

Given Russia’s richness in superstar pianists, it is not surprising that Russian composers have composed extensively for the piano. Some of the composers represented in this collection were impressive pianists in their own right and they composed music designed to display their own technique and artistry. Others were more modestly gifted as performers but still […]

Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Shostakovich: String Quartets

March 15, 2016

Tchaikovsky’s First Quartet, Borodin’s Second and Shostakovich’s Eighth are three of the finest quartets in the Russian repertory. They reveal that Russian composers were hardly less at home in the relatively private medium of the string quartet than when writing for the more spectacular full symphony orchestra. Both the Tchaikovsky and the Borodin have received […]

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Glazunov

March 15, 2016

Each of the works on this disc is associated with a notable cellist who made a career in Russia: the ‘Rococo Variations’ with the German player Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (1843–90), the ‘Andante cantabile’ with Anatoly Brandukov (1859–1930), the ‘Chant du Ménestrel’ with the Polish player Alexander Wierzbilowicz (1849–1911) and the Shostakovich Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich (1927–2007) […]