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Shostakovich / Schnittke: Piano Quintets

Alfred Schnittke , Dmitri Shostakovich , Boris Berman , Vermeer Quartet Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $11.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2002 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $11.47  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: Prelude 4:23$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: Fugue 9:18Album Only
listen  3. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: Scherzo 3:23$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: Intermezzo 6:47$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: Finale 7:23$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Piano Quintet: Moderato 5:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Piano Quintet: In Tempo di Valse 5:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Piano Quintet: Andante 5:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Piano Quintet: Lento 4:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Piano Quintet: Moderato pastorale 4:07$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Shostakovich / Schnittke: Piano Quintets + Kremer Plays Schnittke - Concerto grosso No. 1 / Quasi una sonata / Moz-Art a'la Haydn / A Paganini
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Product Details

  • Performer: Boris Berman, Vermeer Quartet
  • Composer: Alfred Schnittke, Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00006GO41
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,049 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two brilliant and moving Russian piano quintets February 5, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Naxos presents Boris Berman and the Vermeer Quartet performing the Shostakovich and Schnittke piano quintets, two brilliant and very different works. Shostakovich's quintet was written in 1940, and first performed by the composer and the Beethoven Quartet on November 23, 1940. It was an immediate success, and for many years was considered in the West to be a greater work than his symphonies (it was written in between the 6th and 7th Symphonies). In five movements, it is quite accessible, and reminds me of a Mahler symphony in that it ranges widely in style and mood, from lively and ebullient to the darkest grief. It ends on a cheerful note, which no doubt helped secure it official recognition from Stalin and the regime. Its popularity with the Russian people, I can't help but think, was probably, like the 5th Symphony, more due to its darker qualities.

Schnittke's quintet, which he began in 1972 and finished in 1975, was a response to the death of his mother. It is a much more radical work than Shostakovich's, and much more grim. The second movement centers on a haunting waltz, which captures the tonal-oriented ear, but most of the piece is densely chromatic (ie, atonal). The overwhelming, crushing grief is resolved, if only tentatively, at the end as a lovely, simple melody emerges, and is repeated 14 times fading into a fragile sense of peace and resolution.

This is a splendid recording of a soulful performance, and should be heard by all who enjoy the music of either Shostakovich or Schnittke. The Shostakovich Quintet is a 20th Century work that already sounds like it belongs alongside Beethoven and the other classical greats. The Schnittke Quintet is more challenging, but deserves to be heard. (Thanks to the Naxos art department for the great Russian constructivist painting!)
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece from Schnittke January 2, 2005
By G. Laur
Format:Audio CD
I purchased this disc for the most part because of my interest in Shostokovich; I had heard little about Schnittke and had deduced that he was an imitator of his more famous fellow Russian.

While the Shostakovich piano quintet was interesting in its own right, it was the Schnittke quintet that truly impressed me. In fact, it was the most unique and musically interesting piece of 20th century classical I had heard up to that point. Schnittke is a master at creating a mysterious and foreboding atmosphere, perhaps the best; the stabbing, minimal piano lines and slurred, dissonant strings are the components of a bleak and unsettling musical landscape that sticks in the mind long after the CD is over. Along with his signature sound, he often experiments in other areas of composition, from waltz to tango to baroque, and integrates them well into the music - this makes his compositions doubly interesting.

Schnittke has since become one of my favorite composers, and probably deserves more recognition. The sadness, desolation, and strangeness of his music is a perfect soundtrack for today. The piano quintet is a good introduction to his works; my personal favorite works of his are his more radical violin concertos. Fans of dark and brooding classical, or the rock group Univers Zero, buy immediately.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Shostakovich, puzzling Schnittke February 16, 2007
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The performance of the Shostakovich quintet on this CD is sober and dramatic. Although some groups have more strongly emphasized the contrasting moods of this work, I have no heard a performance of this work that I have enjoyed more. Schnittke's quintet is very theatrical and would make a fine ballet or film score. As pure chamber music, it is puzzling.
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5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lousy Indexing, Great Performance March 10, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
You can't find this album if you ask Amazon to search for the Vermeer Quartet; the only performer listed is the pianist, Berman. Having heard the Vermeer do this piece live, from ten feet away, I find this performance as compelling as that one, but the sound is of course a bit less full. Schnittke's piece is a logical pairing, and not common on disc.
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