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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.1 in E flat, Op.107 (1959) [28:46]*;
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.2 in G major, Op.126 (1966) [35:50]**
Jonathan Ayling (cello)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox.
* Recorded "live" in St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 on May 15th, 2004 ** Recorded "live" in St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 on November 13th, 2004.
DUNELM RECORDS DRD0233
[64:46]


Availability

£10.95 www.dunelm-records.co.uk

It is good to have both of Shostakovich’s Cello Concertos on one CD. Each is a masterpiece. Every bar is unmistakable Shostakovich and yet the works are worlds apart, from which I believe he is one of the greatest 20th century composers. Though the performers are the same in each work, the recordings were made at two concerts during 2004.

Though six months apart, these two performances are equally outstanding, with soloist, conductor and orchestra truly getting to the heart of Shostakovich, with the performers really well integrated, working as a single unit.

In the 1st Concerto, the opening movement has a thrilling sense of urgency with its relentless intensity. This is followed by a marvellous contrast in the second movement where the sound of the string section is moving in its sonority behind the expressive solo cellist, whose passage in harmonics with the celesta, near to the end, is most effective. Unusually, the third movement is entirely given to a cadenza for the soloist, who here brings out a superb build-up of tension before the finale explodes into its exciting journey. As well as a great solo interpretation, there is much to admire in all sections of the orchestra throughout this concerto. Special mention must go to the fine horn solos of Jon Meecham.

The less well known 2nd Concerto, with its more sparse and often desolate style typical of later Shostakovich, is also given an outstanding performance. The soloist is on top of the sustained virtuosity demanded by the cello part, integrating so well with the orchestra who play magnificently. There is more sonorous string tone in the brooding first movement, excellent rhythmic precision in the central fast movement and a well balanced interpretation of the long finale including a terrifying climax and a magical quiet ending with delicate percussion behind the cello soloist.

The CD booklet is well presented, with informative notes on the music though reference should have been made to the fact that, in the 2nd Concerto, the finale follows the second movement without a break. There are biographical notes and photographs. A valuable note speaks frankly of the problems in making these recordings though I feel that these are most successfully balanced. Only in the 1st Concerto’s first movement do I feel that the solo cello is a little too forward. The members of the orchestra on each occasion are listed, too.

A most moving and memorable CD. Highly recommended.

Ian Milnes

DUNELM RECORDS: LIST OF SHOSTAKOVICH RECORDINGS: 2005
All made at St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London


KHACHATURIAN: Suite No.2 from the ballet ‘Spartacus’ [21:48]
BARBER: Concerto for violin and orchestra [24:08]
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.65 [30:56]

Adrian Varela (violin)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 19 May 2001
DUNELM DRD0173 [77:19]
Reviews: C H Loh, DSCH Journal http://www.opus147.free.fr/reviews16.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.7 in C major [‘Dedicated to the city of Leningrad’] [73:03]
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 18 May 2002
DUNELM DRD0184 [73:03]
Reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Feb03/1aFeb03-5.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Feb03/shost7dunelm.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: (‘To Maxim Dmitrievich Shostakovich’) [20:32]
Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op.103, ‘The Year 1905’ [67:27]
Marina Primachenko (piano)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 9 November 2002.
DUNELM DRD0193 [2 CDs: 87:59]
Reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Jun03/shost11dunelm.htmhttp://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Jun03/1aJun03-5.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH:
Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op.103, ‘The Year 1905’ [67:27]
London Shostakovich Orchestra: Conductor: Christopher Cox; Leader: Jonathan Lee
Recorded "live" 9 November 2002.
DUNELM DRD0193B [67:27]

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.4 in C minor, Op.43 [63:39]
London Shostakovich Orchestra: Conductor: Christopher Cox; Leader: Louise Lee
Recorded "live" 8 November 2003
DUNELM DRD0216B [63:39]
Review:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Jun04/Shostakovich4_Dunelm.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Concerto for cello and orchestra No.1 in E flat, Op.107 [28:46]
Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47 [55:33]
Jonathan Ayling (cello)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 15 May 2004
DUNELM DRD0227 [2 CDs: 84:19]
Review:

BBC Music Magazine, November, 2004, 13, Number 3, p.63

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47 [55:33]
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 15 May 2004
DUNELM DRD0227B [55:33]
PRICES:
Single CDs: £10.95 (inclusive of postage and packing in the UK)
Dual sets of 2 CDs: £16.95 (inclusive of postage and packing in the UK)

 

The 2nd Cello concert is available coupled to the 12th Symphony - review



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