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Shostakovich: Cello Concertos / Cellokonzerte Nr. 1 & 2 CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 12-SEP-2006
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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5:59
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2
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11:02
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6:05
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4:28
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14:04
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Product Details

  • Performer: Heinrich Schiff
  • Orchestra: Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
  • Conductor: Maxim Shostakovich
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (September 12, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B000EBD85E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The overall rating of this superb set of Shosty's Cello Concertos has been reduced by a ridiculous 3* rating, which was a 'quoted review' from an opera site - Amazon should really delete this entry from the comments on this recording. Heinrich Schiff on the cello & Maxim Shostakovich conducting were likely the first to put these two works together onto one disc; recordings are from 1984 but the re-mastered sound is superb; I've always loved Shosty's first concerto (and own No. 1 w/ Rostropovich + Ozawa), but am at the moment listening to No. 2 and may even prefer it to the other - will need a few more playings for me to decide! :)

Now to further justify my 5* rating, I can only quote others with better credentials than mine who have rated this performance. David Hurwitz of 'ClassicsToday' gives the disc a 10/10 rating for performance and sound, and especially loved the interpretation of the second concerto; the newest Penquin Guide (2009) rates this a 'keyed' performance w/ 4* (one of their top ratings); finally, the price of the CD is a bargain, so if you want both of these 'Cello Concertos' on one disc, this is certainly one of the best choices!
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Format: Audio CD
The Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1 has enjoyed many fine recordings, going back to the American premier under Ormandy with Rostropovich (Sony) almost fifty years ago. This reissue of the reading by Heinrich Schiff has a lot going for it. The close-up recording of the soloist is backed by natural, dynamic recording of the Bavarian State orchestra--evey detail of the wind solos, particularly the horn, is caught beautifully. Schiff's way with the music is propulsive and intense; his tone is wiry and edgy compared to Rostropovich, but whose isn't?

I've heard consderalby better conducting than what we get from the composer's son, Maxim. Tilson Thomas with Maisky (DG) and the relatively unknown but riveting account from Richard Tognetti and his Austrailian Chamber Orch. with Dutch cellist Peter Wispelwey (Channel Classics) make this version sound too relaxed. Also, not every rival comes with the tough, late Cello Concerto #2, which is by turns gloomy and puzzling--a hard listen. But it must be said that soloist and conductor try to make it as exciting as possible.
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Format: Audio CD
Heinrich Schiff, on this recording made in 1984, delivers thoughtful and technically superb performances of both works.

The first concerto has always been the more popular of these two concertos and maybe that is because it is generally more obviously outgoing. The second concerto is more reflective, more inward and lacks the more clearly projected melody lines of the first concerto.
The ending of the second concerto, with a similar ticking clock motif also heard at the end of the controversial and questioning 4th and 15th symphonies, must have significance other than that of pure musical sound. Bearing this parallel in mind it might be reasonably construed that Shostakovich was, at the very least, not in an entirely jovial frame of mind when he wrote this concerto.

Whatever the circumstances as above, there can be little doubt that Schiff's performance is on a very exalted level and is able to capture the contrasting moods of the two pieces very well. In this he is able supported by Shostakovich's son, Maxim, and the fine playing of the orchestra. The recording is well detailed and balanced and of full range.

I would therefore suggest that if this coupling of these two concertos is of interest then it would seem obvious to consider them as strong candidates for choice.
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Format: Audio CD
Those are the ideal performances for the two cello concerti. Schiff's playing
is brilliant and crystal-clear and the composer's son conducting brings us the
best way to know the original conceptions of Shostakovich on his works. Those
are perhaps a bit cerebral and very modern-style performances, less romantic
than Rostropovich, but with no doubt remark the epitomes of the 20th century
cello concerto. This is a Shostakovich essential recording and recommendable
even for anyone who want to own just one version of those concertos.
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Format: Audio CD
I lived in Metro Detroit at the time this CD came out. It was at a Harmony House in Livonia, Michigan. It was the only recording of both Shostakovich Cello Concertos period. Heinrich Schiff was an unfamiliar name to me, but Maxim Shostakovich as conductor brought a lot of weight behind buying it. Besides that this was the first 2nd Cello Concerto I ever heard. None were available in LP. The 2nd concerto as it was both played by Schiff and conducted by Maxim made a memorable impression on me. The 2nd Cello Concerto is complex and treated here with dignity. I should dare say even more dignity than Rostropovich who was the dedicatee. When listening to the 2nd Cello Concerto you have to remember that it is as much an orchestral work as a work for solo cello. I have just recommended this to some friends and now that I am rebuilding my collection (long story how I lost it (I don't care to get into)). I have vowed to buy this again.

The 1st Cello Concerto as been mentioned already is a slight disappointment considering the fierce competition. I would trade some of it's stateliness in this performance for a little more fire in the fiddle.

So I recommend this CD especially for the 2nd Cello Concerto. Rostropovich himself would do for the 1st Cello Concerto as would Rodin on the Arte Nova label.
There are so many good 1st's to choose from it makes little sense in listing them all.

I give this 4/5 stars overall. But 5 stars for the 2nd Cello Concerto alone.
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