- Piano Concerto No. 1, for piano, trumpet & strings, in C minor, Op. 35
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102
- Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57
Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Quintet in G minorby Martin Helmchen
The resonances of the music of Dmitry Shostakovich, a composer who engaged with but did not mimic the past and who uniquely captured in music the experience of repression, continue to grow. His "24 Preludes for piano, Op. 34," have attracted a veritable horde of recordings, with a variety as great as that which have attended Chopin's preludes and Bach's preludes and fugues of the "Well-Tempered Clavier," both antecedents. This live recording by pianist David Kadouch (born in 1985) is distinctive, beautifully controlled, and perhaps representative of a new French pianistic school that prizes detail, articulation, and subtlety of texture. Kadouch avoids an overall characterization of the Preludes, treating each one as an individual and breaking down the phrase structure to a very detailed level. The pairing of the Preludes with the "Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57," is odd but somehow compelling, with the quintet's grimness and its big, tragic second-movement fugue providing a foil for the essentially high-spirited neo-classicism of the Preludes. Kadouch gets expert help in defining the sharply divided spheres of piano and strings from the members of the Quatuor Ardeo, none of them much older than he is. A much-above-average recording of some Shostakovich standards that bodes well for the continuing growth in the composer's reputation.
- Release Date:
- London Philharmonic
Performance CreditsMartin Helmchen Primary Artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
The 2 piano concertos of Shostakovich are eminently joyous, witty pieces. There is no doubt about that. Nor have they lacked for topnotch recordings. At this writing there are at least 5 recommendable versions of each. Now enter Martin Helmchen supported by the LPO and their principal conductor, Vladimir Jurowski. In some ways the central slow movements are the heart and soul of these concerti. Helmchen appears to concur, delivering finely gauged dynamics and heartfelt phrasing. Jurowski and his forces provide poetic and nuanced accompaniment. The outer movements are every bit as successful: vibrant, rhythmically taught, razor sharp. The live recordings are clearly an asset here, not always the case. You'd never guess their origin inasmuch as ambient and audience intrusions are virtually nonexistent. As a bonus, the somber piano quintet of 1940 is included. Helmchen is joined by key members of the LPO in a thoroughly effective reading. Sound throughout is excellent. An attractive disc, well worth investigating.