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Sounds of Defiance: Music of Shostakovich, Schnittke, Pärt, and Achron

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 31, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"This is a wonderful CD." -- Keith Lockhart, Keith's Classical Corner, WGBH - March 2012

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sonata for violin & piano No.1: Andante
  2. Sonata for violin & piano No.1: Allegretto
  3. Sonata for violin & piano No.1: Largo
  4. Sonata for violin & piano No.1: Allegro Scherzando
  5. Hebrew Melody for violin & orchestra, Op.33
  6. Hebrew Lullaby for violin & piano, Op. 35/2
  7. Sonata for violin & piano, Op. 134: Andante
  8. Sonata for violin & piano, Op. 134: Allegretto
  9. Sonata for violin & piano, Op. 134: Largo - Andante
  10. Spiegel im Spiegel, for violin & piano


Product Details

  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke, Joseph Achron, Arvo Pärt
  • Audio CD (January 31, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Marquis Classics
  • ASIN: B006FY1PEA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By anon on February 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
A retrospective on the twentieth century Russian and Soviet composers, this album ranges from rage and despair to resignation and withdrawal, echoing the condition of the composers' society. This music is not meant to be easy. Even the traditionally tonal Achron pieces are achingly sad, and in the Arvo Part, the music has turned so far inward that the outside world is no longer heard. Why do we listen to such music? Why do we watch Schindler's List? Because these works mean something and demand our attention. Because they bring back to life a world that tested the human spirit to the breaking point. Because they matter. Kutik and Bozarth seem to be in their element with this music, and play it with complete conviction and instrumental command. The sound quality is generally very good; Kutik plays with a glowing sound on the G string and a glittering upper range. I will have to keep an eye out for these two in the future. Overall, a stunning CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Excellent playing by Yvgeney Kutik and Timothy Bozarth. The repertoire on the album is intensely emotional. Rarely do you hear the Shostakovich and Schnittke played with so much passion and fire. This is an auspicious debut. Keep your eyes and ears open for them!
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I wish I had the musical vocabulary to do justice to the soulful work of violinist Yevgeny Kutik and pianist Timothy Bozarth on "Sounds of Defiance." All I can do is attempt to describe how their performance of the music of Schnittke, Achron, Shostakovich, and Pärt affects me.

In the virtuosic hands and hearts of Kutik & Bozarth, the music of these composers is a reminder to all who listen that, in the end, art and genius triumph over oppression. Theirs are voices that will not be stifled, voices that demand to be heard: voices defying the gravity of their lives.

From the first sorrowful strains of Schnittke's Sonata it is not far to a stance of outright defiance; perhaps the word might be discordance or dissonance. Achron's "Hebrew Melody" is achingly sad, beautifully familiar; his gorgeous "Hebrew Lullaby" is a lamentation suggesting one ought not sleep too soundly but perhaps always keep at least one eye open to impending catastrophe. Shostakovich dances in ever-changing death-defying tempos. Pärt's "mirrors in the mirror" reflect endlessly a hope for a better time, making "Spiegel im Spiegel," in its own way, a quintessential lullaby, sweetly defiant.

Throughout "Sounds of Defiance," Kutik and Bozarth maintain exquisite tones. There are moments of thunderous rage and outrage, moments of mournful sweetness, moments of hope and longing, a seeking beyond the oppression. Their beautifully balanced violin and piano sound at times so large and full as to be nearly orchestral, at times so intertwined as to be seamless, a single instrument. I believe it is my heart.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This young man combines Russian soul with immense talent. his Shostakovich is like:

an icy wind

blowing

through barbwire
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