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Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Shchedrin: Piano Concerto No. 2 Import

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 13 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0000DJEND
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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1. Allegro Moderato
2. Lento
3. Moderato
4. Allegro Con Brio
5. Allegro
6. Andante
7. Allegro
8. Dialogues: Tempo Rubato
9. Improvisations: Allegro
10. Contrasts: Andante - Allegro

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Somehow this issue got past me when it was released. I usually get everything Marc-André Hamelin records immediately after it comes out; this time a whole month went by! But it's never too late and I was certainly delighted to come by this release from January 2004. The disc contains three of the most insouciant piano concertos ever written. Shostakovich has two personalities: the somber, angst-filled one as in the two violin concerti, and the class cut-up as in these two piano concertos. Here we get Shostakovich the scamp, and in a somewhat similar style, the piano concerto by Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932). Hamelin is perfect for these concerti because, even though they are not the super-virtuosic type he often records, they require a certain devil-may-care quality which he possesses in abundance (just listen to his recordings of the over-the-top Alkan minor key études or the Godowsky recastings of the Chopin Études). Further, because he has accompanied his wife, singer Jody Applebaum, in some down-and-dirty cabaret songs by Bolcom, Britten and Schönberg, he has the experience to play barroom piano as required in the both the Shostakovich concerti. And he seems to be right at home with the bop piano sections of the Shchedrin. You can't tell me that Shchedrin wasn't familiar with Lenny Bernstein's 'Age of Anxiety' Symphony; the piano style is right down that alley. He's given terrific backing by the BBC Scottish Symphony under Andrew Litton. The superb trumpet soloist in the First Concerto is Mark O'Keeffe.
I'd never heard the Shchedrin Concerto before, so I can't compare it with any other performances. But I've long had and loved the recording that Shostakovich made as pianist with André Cluytens conducting.
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Format: Audio CD
Great performances of great music. Marc-Andre Hamelin is excellent, as always, and the orchestra is first-rate. Sound is excellent. Disk packaging is very attractive. There's no other recording I'd rather hear of the Shchedrin (with its amazing last movement), and I would easily list this recording as my favorite of the Shostakovich concerti, along with those of the composer himself... Dear Marc-Andre Hamelin, please record Prokofieff's Second Piano Concerto!!!
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Format: Audio CD
This is by far the best interpretation of Shostakovich No.2 I've encountered. His performance on Schedrin's Concerto is simply breathtaking. This recording proves how both technically and artistically complete Hamelin is and deserves more than 5-stars. What we deserve, I believe, is Hamelin's complete cycle of Shostakovich solo piano works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99e6e8e8) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99f67480) out of 5 stars Simply beautiful. April 1 2004
By Cengiz ONEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is by far the best interpretation of Shostakovich No.2 I've encountered. His performance on Schedrin's Concerto is simply breathtaking. This recording proves how both technically and artistically complete Hamelin is and deserves more than 5-stars. What we deserve, I believe, is Hamelin's complete cycle of Shostakovich solo piano works.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99f67888) out of 5 stars Hamelin Triumphs Again Feb. 15 2004
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Somehow this issue got past me when it was released. I usually get everything Marc-Andr'é Hamelin records immediately after it comes out; this time a whole month went by! But it's never too late and I was certainly delighted to come by this release from January 2004. The disc contains three of the most insouciant piano concertos ever written. Shostakovich has two personalities: the somber, angst-filled one as in the two violin concerti, and the class cut-up as in these two piano concertos. Here we get Shostakovich the scamp, and in a somewhat similar style, the piano concerto by Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932). Hamelin is perfect for these concerti because, even though they are not the super-virtuosic type he often records, they require a certain devil-may-care quality which he possesses in abundance (just listen to his recordings of the over-the-top Alkan minor key 'tudes or the Godowsky recastings of the Chopin 'Études). Further, because he has accompanied his wife, singer Jody Applebaum, in some down-and-dirty cabaret songs by Bolcom, Britten and Sch'önberg, he has the experience to play barroom piano as required in the both the Shostakovich concerti. And he seems to be right at home with the bop piano sections of the Shchedrin. You can't tell me that Shchedrin wasn't familiar with Lenny Bernstein's 'Age of Anxiety' Symphony; the piano style is right down that alley. He's given terrific backing by the BBC Scottish Symphony under Andrew Litton. The superb trumpet soloist in the First Concerto is Mark O'Keeffe.

I'd never heard the Shchedrin Concerto before, so I can't compare it with any other performances. But I've long had and loved the recording that Shostakovich made as pianist with André' Cluytens conducting. That has been reissued, with somewhat cleaned-up sound, on EMI and is still available. The sound is somewhat brittle compared to this issue and obviously is to be valued because of Shostakovich's presence, but I think I like the Hamelin performances more. I also like Yefim Bronfman's recording of the Shostakovich concerti, available on Sony, and it has the advantage of also including a terrific performance of the Piano Quintet with members of the Juilliard Quartet.

Heartily recommended.

TT=63:11

Scott Morrison
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99f67900) out of 5 stars Buy this cd, now! Feb. 1 2004
By offeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great performances of great music. Marc-Andre Hamelin is excellent, as always, and the orchestra is first-rate. Sound is excellent. Disk packaging is very attractive. There's no other recording I'd rather hear of the Shchedrin (with its amazing last movement), and I would easily list this recording as my favorite of the Shostakovich concerti, along with those of the composer himself... Dear Marc-Andre Hamelin, please record Prokofieff's Second Piano Concerto!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99f67c90) out of 5 stars Hamelin does it again Dec 15 2010
By Bruce A. Mcdonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Marc-Andre Hamelin is noted for his hair-raising technical wizardry, but also for his willingness to explore less-than-familiar territory.
He does it this time with the Shostakovich piano concerti and the much less known Shchedrin 2nd piano concerto. The latter item is the composer's venture into serial music, which is not usually my favorite, but I found that Shchedrin makes sense. As for the Shosta-kovich, it's fascinating to see how, even in a relatively small work like Concerto #2, his distinctive tonal language comes through quickly. The slow movements of both his concerti are quite beautiful, and Hamelin is very much into the style of the music. Not too surprisingly, the technical difficulties are no challenge to him. The Hyperion recording is also very well-balanced and realistic. Highly enjoyable!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99f67cc0) out of 5 stars noisy fun Dec 11 2012
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I don't have any bases of comparison for making comparative judgments about these performances, so I'll just indicate impressions. The three pieces make a good coupling (or should that be tripling) on a single CD. They are quite similar in character, with strong rhythmic percussive fast movements and rather chastely lyrical, but not very extensive, slower movements. They would seem to demand a high level of virtuosity, and Hamelin certainly supplies that -- there's energy a-plenty, but no sign of strain, and wonderfully even playing at speed when that is called for. I find it interesting that Shchedrin and Shostakovich wrote these for themselves as soloists -- they must have have been very capable pianists. I wouldn't say that the music has great expressive depth -- it's loud, noisy, and fun to listen to. If you like Prokofiev, you should like it. Shostakovich's First concerto is the one with the solo trumpet, and it's very well done. I marginally prefer the second, with a particularly lovely slow movement, which Hamelin plays beautifully. The Shchedrin concerto, written in 1966, is more playful and abrasive, and it plays with different popular styles to witty effect. It's more explicitly percussive and dissonant in places. The BBC Scottish Symphony plays very well for Andrew Litton, and the sound is excellent. If this kind of music is your bag, there's no reason to hesitate.
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