Shostakovich's two piano concertos

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Lance
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Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by Lance » Tue May 08, 2018 6:09 pm

Normally not a profound Shostakovich collector though he wrote many wonderful things, and I do have lots of him on CDs. Two are his two piano concertos. I had to prepare a piano for conductor John Covelli who performed the piece and conducted it from the piano. It was the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102, composed in 1957 for Shostakovich's son, Maxim. It was then that I fell in love with the piece and began collecting recordings of it (or which there are many). Covelli also recorded in Russia and it has appeared on CD. The second movement was particularly a revelation. The piano has to have a fast escapement for repeated notes. I had to make sure the Steinway concert grand was "up to snuff." The Piano Concerto No. 1, dating from 1933 with trumpet, was soon to follow in hearing and loving that, but not as much as No. 2.

Recordings I have of No. 2:

Sony - Bernstein/Bernstein
EMI - John Ogdon/Foster
Decca- Ortiz/Ashkenazy
EMI - D. Shostakovich/Cluytens
EMI - D. Alexeev/Maksymiuk
EMI - Ortiz/Berglund
EMI - R. Mikhail/JansonsJur
RCA - E. List/M. Shostakovich
Carlton - J. Covelli/Covelli
Gramola - P. Gulda/Fedoseyev
Hyperion - Hamelin/Litton
LPO - M. Helmchen/Jurowski
Mariinsky - Matsuev/Gergiev
Revelation or Monopole - D. Shostakovich/Gauk
Nimbus - M. Jones/Boughton
Phoenix - J. Pierce/Freeman
Praga - M. Shostakovich/D. Shostakovich

So, if you DON'T like Shostakovich (or think you don't), I'm sure you will at least like his Second Piano Concerto. Are there any particular performances you don't see above that you might RAVE about?
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Rach3
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by Rach3 » Tue May 08, 2018 8:06 pm

Mine is Leonskaja with Wolf / St.Paul Chamber on Teldec, both concertos and the 2nd Piano Sonata:

http://tinyurl.com/y7otyh4h

I love the slow mov. of the 2nd.However, I think the " better " work is the 1st PC, especially its slow mov.

Modernistfan
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by Modernistfan » Tue May 08, 2018 8:51 pm

Bronfman conducted by Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Sony).

Lance
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by Lance » Tue May 08, 2018 10:00 pm

Bronfman is a wonderful pianist. It's one I don't have but I see it is in the new mega-boxed set of Salonen on Sony Classics (61 discs altogether). Thank you for reminding me of that one.
Modernistfan wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 8:51 pm
Bronfman conducted by Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Sony).
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by maestrob » Wed May 09, 2018 10:23 am

Yes, Lance, I just acquired this superb CD with Boris Giltburg, which includes not only the two piano concerti but Giltburg's world premiere recording of his arrangement for piano of the Shostakovich Quartet VIII. It's a superb disc (pictured below) which I am proud to own. Giltburg is IMHO a young pianist to watch: everything he plays, from Shostakovich to Schumann, is pianism at its best, as reviewed in another thread. Do keep an eye on Giltburg, and both ears as well!

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Rach3
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by Rach3 » Wed May 09, 2018 2:35 pm

maestrob wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:23 am
Yes, Lance, I just acquired this superb CD with Boris Giltburg, which includes not only the two piano concerti but Giltburg's world premiere recording of his arrangement for piano of the Shostakovich Quartet VIII.

Here, complete I believe : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBvEzpJ2gmU

He apparently has also transcribed for piano solo at least one mov. of the 2nd Quartet, also at YT.

barney
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by barney » Wed May 09, 2018 8:35 pm

You've mentioned it above, but I treasure Shostakovich's own recording with Moscow Radio under Alexander Gauk. Alas, I have it only on LP (a 3-LP set of recordings of Shostakovich himself playing) . It's one of the reasons I haven't followed a couple of friends in getting rid of my LPs and turntable.

John F
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by John F » Thu May 10, 2018 1:03 am

Shostakovich was an excellent pianist, and his recordings of his own music are worth having. That said, the EMI recording with Cluytens is rather disappointing, and his earlier Russian recordings are worth seeking out if you can.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by maestrob » Thu May 10, 2018 11:12 am

John F wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 1:03 am
Shostakovich was an excellent pianist, and his recordings of his own music are worth having. That said, the EMI recording with Cluytens is rather disappointing, and his earlier Russian recordings are worth seeking out if you can.
"Rather disappointing," my foot! That EMI recording is in excellent sound (although mono), and the orchestra is far superior to the scrappy band that plays for him on the Russian Disc release. Well, so we disagree again! :)

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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by John F » Thu May 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Not necessarily. What disappoints me in the EMI recording is Shostakovich's playing, which you say nothing about. As I remember, it's accurate enough but more tense and nervous than the earlier Russian version, not to the music's benefit.
John Francis

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Re: Shostakovich's two piano concertos

Post by maestrob » Fri May 11, 2018 9:38 am

John F wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 1:07 pm
Not necessarily. What disappoints me in the EMI recording is Shostakovich's playing, which you say nothing about. As I remember, it's accurate enough but more tense and nervous than the earlier Russian version, not to the music's benefit.
Tense and nervous? Sorry JohnF, I don't hear it that way at all. I think Shostakovich does fine for EMI & Cluytens, while the Russian version features really scrappy playing from the pick-up orchestra: they sound quite awful. IMHO, only the Leningrad Symphony had it together in those days, while Moscow didn't have a decent band until the mid-sixties, when they recorded the Shostakovich Symphonies with Kondrashin. IOW, I find Shostakovich's Western recording of his piano concerti far superior to his Russian document: maybe that's why he came to the West to make the recording in the first place!

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