2010 release. This production presents a choice selection of chamber music written by the Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin (born in 1932). Such works reveal the entire spectrum of the composer s emotional range substantiated to a certain extent in Shchedrin s case by his statement: Music, good music, classical music is able to educate the soul, so that the character is less aggressive
Rodion Shchedrin is best known for his flamboyant Carmen Suite and, until now, I thought that all of his work, symphonies, ballets, etc. was in that extrovert vein. But the four chamber works on this disc are something else altogether: introspective, intellectually challenging, moody. In short, If I'd heard them without knowing who wrote them, Shchedrin would not have been my guess.
In the Style of Albeniz for violin & piano is the closest thing to his "other" style and the most immediately accessible. But it's not my favorite here, and I'm not sure which of the other three I like best. Maybe the quirky, thin-textured Echo Sonata for solo violin, the moving, stentorian cello sonata, or the strangely disturbing Menuhin Sonata for violin & piano. I'll need further exposure to all three to get them clear in my mind.
Violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky does a virtuoso job here. David Grigorian (accompanied by pianist Ludmila Lissovaja) is a match for his mentor Mstislav Rostropovich, for whom the cello sonata was written. And Shchedrin himself demonstrates his concert-pianist credentials.
I'm reminded of Aaron Copland's two very different compositional styles, except that in Copland's case I prefer the popular works to the dense and arid "serious" ones, and in the case of Shchedrin, my preference is for the introverted material on this disc.
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