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Shchedrin: Concerto Cantabile / Stravinsky: Violin Concerto in D / Tchaikovsky: Serenade melancholique,Op.26 ~ Vengerov

Audio CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 6, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Back in 1994, Teldec struck gold when it teamed the very young Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov with conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and the London Symphony in a recording of Prokofiev's and Shostakovich's first violin concertos. The label followed that a couple of years later with the same performers doing the same composers' second violin concertos. Then, for some reason, Teldec seems to have walked away from its claim on their remarkable collaboration. With this release, EMI has come up with--what else?--more gold.

It's particularly exciting because the Shchedrin is a new and very good work, composed expressly for Vengerov and premiered by him in 1998. Written for solo violin and a full, symphony orchestra-sized string section, and called Concerto Cantabile, it is a work of haunting beauty that sustains a listener's interest over its 28 minutes with a combination of fascinating melodic and textural development, atmospheric effect, engaging emotion, and bold virtuosity--all the things a good concerto should have, made all the more compelling by the austerity the composer has forced on himself. Yet, as we should expect from Shchedrin, this is a colorful and highly expressive austerity, and its achievement is a compositional tour de force. Rostropovich conducts with keen insight into the composer's expressive aims, into the light and the dark of this work's Russian soul, and, not least, into what strings can do. The result is compelling. Stravinsky's acerbically jaunty concerto is an interesting coupling: Vengerov and Rostropovich convey its circus atmosphere, biting sense of fun, and the faux emotion of its two middle movements with evident delight. In the Tchaikovsky, they shift gears once again, making this gentle lament into a truly big piece. Throughout, Vengerov's heroically large, burnished tone is a thing of beauty, just as the exuberant virtuosity he brings to the Stravinsky and Shchedrin works still (though we've come to expect it) leaves us with our mouths hanging open. --Ted Libbey

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Con Cantabile: I. Moderato Cantabile
  2. Con Cantabile: II. Allegro -
  3. Con Cantabile: III. Sostenuto Assai
  4. Vln Con in D: I. Toccata
  5. Vln Con in D: II. Aria I
  6. Vln Con in D: III. Aria II
  7. Vln Con in D: IV. Capriccio
  8. Ser Melancolique in b, Op.26

Product details

  • Performer: Maxim Vengerov
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Composer: Rodion Shchedrin, Igor Stravinsky, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (June 6, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Angel Records / EMI
  • ASIN: B00004RITO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,570 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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