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Shostakovich, Mozart, Bach: Piano Concertos / Orbelian, Moscow Chamber Orchestra

Shostakovich / Orbelian
Release Date: 02/26/2013 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 1043   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichWolfgang Amadeus MozartJohann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sergei NakariakovConstantine OrbelianJonathan Shames
Conductor:  Andrei KorsakovNanse Gum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 1. MOZART Concerto for Two Pianos in E?, K 365. BACH Concerto No. 5 in f for Keyboard and Strings, BWV 1056 Constantine Orbelian (pn); Andre Korsakov, cond; Moscow CO DELOS 1043 (79:48)


Constantine Orbelian, despite the exotic sounding name, is an American musician who has been the director Read more of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra since 1991. He has worked his dual nationalistic identities into both his programming, which is heavily Slavic, and his public relations, which includes constant American-Russian cultural exchanges. He has been officially honored in both countries. More to the point, he and the band are fine, satisfying artists. I have heard them in concert, where they produce a rich and engaging sound.


This CD is meant as a showcase for Orbelian the pianist, although the ensemble matches him with aplomb. These are all ebullient concertos, including one of the brighter works that Shostakovich wrote, when he was 27 and before his career was plunged into political distress. Even this piece has its dark corners, especially in the first movement, and Orbelian captures those ominous flashes of anxiety with dramatic skill. He and the MCO do not quite achieve the excitement of a handful of other performances, including that of Hamelin, but overall this is a winning reading of what is essentially a theater piece without the actors.


The Mozart and the Bach also receive solid performances here, with alert and smart playing by all involved. That said, there are any number of versions of the Mozart where the characters of the solo parts are more distinctly differentiated (the second pianist, Jonathan Shames, gets credited within the booklet, and not on the album cover; what does that tell us?). The Bach is delivered with masculine charm, although I am more inclined to listen to this music on period instruments these days.


My quibbles are rather beside the point. This CD is not meant to fill in repertoire gaps in one’s collection, but serve as a portrait of a musician. Orbelian is a solid, compelling artist, and this collection does a fine job of presenting his musical persona in a satisfying package.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov (Trumpet), Constantine Orbelian (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrei Korsakov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 1991-92 
Venue:  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, R 
Length: 20 Minutes 56 Secs. 
2. Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K 365 (316a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Constantine Orbelian (Piano), Jonathan Shames (Piano)
Conductor:  Nanse Gum
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1991-92 
Venue:  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, R 
Length: 23 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Constantine Orbelian (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrei Korsakov
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1991-92 
Venue:  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, R 
Length: 24 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4. Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Constantine Orbelian (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrei Korsakov
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1991-92 
Venue:  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, R 
Length: 9 Minutes 36 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35: I. Allegro moderato - Allegro vivace
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35: II. Lento
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35: III. Moderato
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35: IV. Allegro con brio
Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K. 365: I. Allegro
Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K. 365: II. Andante
Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K. 365: III. Rondo: Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414: III. Rondeau: Allegretto
Keyboard Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056: I. Allegro moderato
Keyboard Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056: II. Largo
Keyboard Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056: III. Presto

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