- Sonata for violin & piano, Op. 134
- Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1
- Lonely Suite, for violin & piano ("Ballet for a Lonely Violinist"), Op. 70
- Sonata No. 2, for violin & piano ("September 11"), Op. 63
Contradictions are essential to Dmitri Shostakovich's music -- between high and low styles, tragic and comic moods -- and it's hard to imagine a better pairing of works to demonstrate this tension than those on the first half of violinist Vadim Gluzman's recital. Shostakovich's Violin Sonata is a late work, premiered just a few months before the death-haunted 14th Symphony in 1969. As performed here by Gluzman and his wife, pianist Angela Yoffe, the Sonata's harsh angularity is fiercely expressive, with the finely modulated grain of Gluzman's tone making the most of his rich-hued Stradivarius violin. After the austere beauty of this music, the composer's Jazz Suite No. 1 comes as a quintessential Shostakovich jolt. A waltz, a polka, and a foxtrot, originally scored for jazz orchestra in 1934 but heard here in a recent arrangement for violin and piano by the soloist's father, Michael Gluzman, these dances are light and humorous but never simple, and they make an extremely appealing showpiece for the instrument. Gluzman has paired Shostakovich with a Russian expatriate who was born in 1973, just a few years before Shostakovich's death, and whose music shows a certain debt to the elder master. Lera Auerbach -- whose 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano were recorded by Gluzman and Yoffe on a prior release -- has an eloquent way with writing for the violin. Her Lonely Suite, for unaccompanied violin, explores an intriguing set of challenges, both technical (especially in the movement titled "No Escape") and expressive, but the latter quality comes more to the foreground in her Violin Sonata No. 2, which responds viscerally to the event memorialized in its subtitle, "September 11." Even without that reference point, this is tragic music of rare power, to which Gluzman responds with great sensitivity and sympathy -- as he does throughout this wide-ranging and riveting recital.