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Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Chamber Symphony,Op.110a / 7 Preludes,Op.34

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 25, 1989
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Product Details

  • Performer: Evgeny Kissin
  • Orchestra: Moscow Virtuosi
  • Conductor: Vladimir Spivakov
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (August 25, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Legacy
  • ASIN: B00008FN5S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,559 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 15, 2006
Evgeny Kissin was but a young firebrand when he made this recording of the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 (in 1989) and yet it still remains one of the more satisfying performances on record of this jaunty, elegiac, charmer of a work. Kissin digs right in with technique to burn, but he also is able to lean into the Lento movement with the warmth and restrained passion that makes it one of Shostakovich's loveliest movements. In every way this performance is strong and spunky, including the trumpet obbligato by Vassili Kan.

Kissin is well supported by the Moscow Virtuosi conducted by the brilliant violinist Vladimir Spivakov (Spivakov founded this ensemble). The tone is vibrant and sensitive and Spivakov makes the accompanying Chamber Symphony based on the Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 play like the extended tonal complexity it is. Strangely Spivakov also conducts seven of the orchestral transcriptions (by Viktor Poltoratsky) of Shostakovich Preludes for Piano Opus 34, works rarely performed and for some good reasons... Better to have chosen another of the Shostakovich chamber works. But in all this is a fine recording, especially of the Piano concerto, with superb sound and the chance to explore some aspects of Shostakovich unknown even to the avid collectors of the master's works. Recommended. Grady Harp, May 06
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Before they knew that they had a superstar on their hands, RCA featured Yevgeny Kissin in various concerto recordings where he got equal billing with Vladimir Spivakov, a violinist who also made a name after the fall of Communism by bringing the Moscow Virtuosi to the West. Here in 1988 they join in Shostakovich's infectious early Piano Concerto #1. I'm not sure the Moscow strings are all that virtuosic, but it doesn't matter. Kissin burns the wheeels off the piece, and the turmpet obliggato is running beside him every step. First choice in this work.

The rest of the CD (37 min.) is strings alone in the standard arrangement of the Shostakovich String Quartet #8 by Rudolf Barshai, retitled as Chamber Symphony Op. 110a, plus some miscellaneous preludes from Shstakovich's set of Preludes and Fugues for piano, here arranged daiantily for string orchestra. I am no fan of such arrangements, but the Moscow Virtuosi, without making me forget the originals, do a good job. Three stars.
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