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Posted July 15, 2011
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2011
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