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Shostakovich's Circle / Autour de Chostakovitch

Dmitri Shostakovich , German Galynin , Galina Ustvolskaya , I Musici de Montréal , Yuli Turovsky Audio CD

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Product Details


1. Piano Concerto No.1 : I. Allegro
2. Piano Concerto No.1 : II. Andante
3. Piano Concerto No.1 : III. Allegro vivo
4. Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73) : I. Allegretto
5. Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73) : II. Moderato con moto
6. Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73) : III. Allegro non troppo
7. Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73) : IV. Adagio
8. Chamber Symphony in F Major, Op. 73a for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73) : V. Moderato
9. Piano Concerto

Product Description

"All three works on this recording were written in 1946, one of the darkest years for Russian culture. There was a real pogrom in Soviet literature that year, which only served as a dress rehearsal for the pogrom of Soviet music two years later, when Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Miaskovsky, Khachaturian and many other Soviet composers of the highest rank were officially and publically reprimanded for writing 'formalist' music." ―Yuli Turovsky

" Les œuvres de cet enregistrement ont toutes trois été composées en 1946, l'une des années les plus sombres de la culture russe. Il existait cette année-là en littérature soviétique un véritable pogrom, lequel allait servir de modèle au pogrom qui frapperait la musique soviétique deux années plus tard, alors que Chostakovitch, Prokofiev, Miaskovsky, Khatchatourian et plusieurs autres compositeurs parmi les plus célèbres, allaient être officiellement et publiquement rabroués pour avoir écrit une musique ‘formaliste'." ―Yuli Turovsky

Selections:

Galynin: Piano Concerto No. 1

Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony in F major, op. 73a, for strings, winds and harp (transcription by Rudolf Barshai of Quartet No. 3, Op. 73)

Ustvolskaya: Piano Concerto


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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Discoveries, Plus an Old Friend in New Guise May 9 2006
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Yuli Turovsky, the founder and director of I Musici de Montreal, must be credited with bringing out this marvelous new CD of music by Shostakovich and two of his close colleagues, German Galinin and Galina Ustvolskaya in works that were all written in 1946 in immediately post-war Russia. An old friend in new garb is Shostakovich's Third String Quartet, in F, Op. 73, as orchestrated for string orchestra, winds and harp by Rudolf Barshai, given opus number 73a. It is given a fresh, invigorating performance by Turovsky and his band. (This is not to be confused with Barshai's more familiar orchestration of the Eighth Quartet, which is also called a Chamber Symphony, designated Op. 110a.)

As well, we are happy to have the Piano Concerto by Galina Ustvolskaya, one-time student of Shostakovich (whom he asked to marry him early in the 1940s; she chose not to). This is an early work and is not entirely typical of her later style which tends to be hard-edged and percussive (one Dutch wit called her 'The Woman with a Hammer'). It is in one movement, but divided into several discernible sections, and lasts about seventeen minutes. It is by far the most 'romantic' of her compositions, and is more or less in C major/minor.

The most amazing and immediately appealing of the works here is the First Piano Concerto by German (or Herman) Germanovich Galinin (sometimes transliterated as Galynin, accent on the second syllable), an almost completely unknown Russian composer who also was a student of Shostakovich's. Indeed, this concerto reminds one of Shostakovich's own First Concerto with its brashness, fresh high spirits underpinned by a shy melancholy (especially in the long second movement). The rondo finale dispels earlier sadness and finishes in a blaze of pyrotechnics. Entirely tonal, brilliantly orchestrated, this concerto, receiving its first recording outside Russia, is a triumph and I can easily imagine it being taken up by pianists looking for new material; I am thrilled to have made its acquaintance.

The pianist in the two concerti is the very young Ukrainian, Sergei Salov (his first name is transliterated as 'Serhiy' in the Analekta booklet notes, but I notice that when he played this concerto with I Musici de Montreal in a concert last year their press release referred to him by the more familiar 'Sergei'). He is a very fine pianist whose fingerwork is pristine and his ability to mold a phrase preternaturally musical.

I would recommend this CD for the Galinin concerto alone, but both the Ustvolskaya concerto and the Shostakovich chamber symphony are given exceptional performances. Sound is excellent.

Scott Morrison

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