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  • Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1/Prokofiev: Concerto No. 2
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Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1/Prokofiev: Concerto No. 2

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Audio CD, May 23, 1989
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$58.60 $15.35

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 1989)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000E3V6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
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Five INSPIRED Stars! Outstanding performances! This is an inspired, fateful musical meeting between the award-winning violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova and the works of two of the 20th Century's greatest Russian classical composers, Dmitri Shostakovich and Serge Prokofiev. Shostakovich and Prokofiev lived during the height of the Soviet Union, which was so paranoid it even controlled composers and their music. Shostakovich was criticized in the national press and formally censured twice by the Soviet Union which meant his works could not be performed, his income was reduced, and he was forced to publicly apologize. Serge Prokofiev left Russia before it became the USSR and lived in the USA and Europe, but he returned to his native country as the USSR was cracking down on artists, demanding obedience and allegiance. Viktoria Mullova, on the other hand, was born near Moscow, and as a globetrotting young violinist was kept on a short leash when traveling outside of the USSR. But in her highly-publicized defection in 1983, she put on a blonde wig, left her Stradivarius violin in her hotel room as a decoy, and sought political asylum in the US Embassy in Finland. She rose quickly to the front rank of world-class violin virtuosos. And on this 1989 recording, a youthful Mullova shows she has a deep understanding of the brilliant music of her 2 countrymen. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Andre Previn is a great match with Mullova, showing Previn's 'attention to detail' in conducting the music of these two great composers.

The 'best of the best' begins with Dmitri Shostakovich's "Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 99". His works are daring, original, and ultimately hopeful which is probably what alarmed the government.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HardangerTroll on September 23, 2011
Not having heard every extant recording for comparison, I will say that when I was majoring in music in Moscow (Idaho, that is) I repeatedly checked-out this recording from the library and was blown away by her heavy interpretation of the Shostakovich concerto. When I left, I looked for it at every bookstore in Houston and settled for the Maxim Vengerov/Rostropovich recording that somehow won an American Grammy. I was in the end ultimately disappointed--one night when I was listening to the V/R, I took it out and threw the CD against the wall, I regret that it was still playable and later threw it in the trash w/o any regrets. The same can be said for my preference for Keith Jarrett's recording of Shostakovich's 24 Prelude and Fugues contra Askernazy's recording, that also won a Grammy, incidently. Perhaps it is true that one is swayed or biased by FIRST EXPOSURE, and perhaps, I should have listened to the Oistrakh prior to writing this, but I nevertheless would stick to the sturm und drang performance of Viktoria Mullova's cd. The primary criticism is that Vengerov and, for that matter, Askernazy have questionable and audible lapses of intensity, whereas Viktoria Mullova is able to focus, nuance and sustain relentlessly. Her intonation throughout is exquisite, esp, her double-stops. An almost "definitive" interp. imo. an apogee that would be hard for anyone of her generation to match considering her proximity to latter-Soviet repression. Nastrohvia
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 3, 2014
These are edge-of-your-seat performances of these two concertos, with Mullova, forward but not too forward in the aural picture, bringing tremendous intensity to the music, while Previn and the RPO back her to the hilt. She convinces you as you listen that this is how this music has to go. Of the two concertos, the Shostakovich made the deepest impression on me -- the soulful threnody of the opening movement is richly communicated, with an undertone of lament, and there seems to be a manic desperation in the passacaglia and finale, where the playing on the upper strings of the violin creates a sense of a spirit on the edge of order and sanity. The whole thing is riveting from start to finish. The emotional temperature in the Prokofiev seems a little cooler -- this is an impression of the music, not a criticism of Mullova's playing -- and it seems there, for all the virtuosity and energy, that we are in the world of the dance. Again, it's totally engaging, with the second movement taken without sentimentality at a good clip (andante assai), which makes the energy of the final movement seem even more amazing. (Mind you, I'm not going to part with my Prokofiev recordings by Jansen, Perlman [with Leinsdorf] or Chung!) I had been disappointed with Mullova's live recording of the Brahms concerto with Abbado, which struck me as too tame and uninflected, so I'm glad to have found these accounts so inspiriting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cliveruss on August 15, 2011
I was hesitant to buy this as I was suspicious about the sound quality. I need not have been. The sound is rich on a good stereo system, or my tubed headphone system.
Good sound is all very well, but if the performance is not good, who cares. In this case, the performance of both pieces, particularly the Prokofiev, is very exciting.
Viktoria Mullova is a really good violinist, and here she is at her best. It is certainly my favorite of any recorded performance of Prokofiev's Violin Concertos.
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