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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


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Composed almost 20 years apart, the two violin concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich were both conceived with the great violinist David Oistrakh in mind and dedicated to him. Shostakovich completed Concerto No. 1 in 1948, at a time when he had fallen out of grace with the Soviet authorities and it seemed uncertain if the work would ever be performed in public. This is reflected in the concerto, which begins with a dark and solitary violin song over gloomy cellos and double basses. Throughout the work there are allusions to the composer’s situation, such as the D-S-C-H motif that appears in so many of his works and which in the second movement is closely related to a theme reminiscent of Jewish popular music, as a symbol of Shostakovich’s identification with the suppressed Jewish culture. In the same movement there is also a theme derived from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mstsensk, which in 1936 had caused the composer’s first denunciation by the Soviet regime. In 1967 Shostakovich wrote to Oistrakh, telling him about the completion of his Violin Concerto No. 2. The composer’s health had been failing for several years, and only the year before he had suffered a heart attack. In several of his late works there is a preoccupation with mortality, and the concerto exhibits a similar dark, introspective tone, especially in the central Adagio. Performing these two great works of the mid-20th century is one of the finest violinists of our own time, Frank Peter Zimmermann. The recordings were made at public concerts at the Hamburg Laeiszhalle, with the eminent support of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester – formerly known as the NDR Sinfonieorchester – conducted by Alan Gilbert, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor for more than a decade.
Facts
Item number BIS-2247
Barcode 7318599922478
Release date 12/9/2016
Category Concertos
Label BIS
Media type SACD
Number of units 1
Performers
Classical Artist Zimmermann, Frank Peter
Conductor Gilbert, Alan
Orchestra North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Disc: 1
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 7700:37:00
1 Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77: I. Noctu 00:09:07 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
2 Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77: II. Sche 00:06:17 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
3 Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77: III. Pas 00:11:05 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
4 Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77: IV. Burl 00:04:42 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 12900:32:00
5 Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 129: I 00:12:36 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
6 Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 129: I 00:09:02 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
7 Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 129: I 00:07:37 Zimmermann, Frank Peter Gilbert, Alan North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
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