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Shostakovich: Piano Trios, Etc / Rachmaninov Trio Moscow


Release Date: 06/26/2009 
Label:  Tudor Records   Catalog #: 7138   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Victor YampolskyNatalie SavinovaMikhail Tsinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff TrioRachmaninoff Trio members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Trios: No. 1; No. 2. Cello Sonata in d Rachmaninov Tr Moscow TUDOR 7138 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 65:12)


This has been a fairly impressive Shostakovich Trio year for me, the Rachmaninov Trio Moscow the third recording of these delectable works coming in the mail. Read more The ones I will mention have their own strengths and few weaknesses; this current issue is perhaps the strongest of all, leading me to consider retiring one of them. (No, I am not the type of collector who keeps everything I have ever bought or reviewed. Each piece demands its own set of rules as far as how many I decide to keep, and the discards go to friends or to the local music school.) But the axe may not fall, as the coupling for each has its own interest and reason for survival.


This new Tudor release has fabulous sound and an impassioned advocacy in players Natalia Savinova (cello), Mikhail Tsinman (violin), and Victor Yampolsky (piano). They are typically—in the good sense of the word—emotionally heightened Russian performers who decry the idea of special “modernist” treatment of this composer, and when they find a good tune they dig in with a Slavic relish that surely the composer himself would have found preferable to some of the more icicle-bound European performances that seek to present him as rather bloodless.


The First Trio, written when the composer was only 17 and submitted as an entry work to gain access to the composition class in the Moscow Conservatory, provides a lesson in seed growth; virtually everything the composer was to become in his long career can be found in this work, from its tender, yet mysterious and even ominous opening to the zany episodes of the Moderato section, to the surprisingly delicate remorse of the Andante portion. The Rach Trio is fully up to the challenges of this work, playing it as the work of a master and not a kid. The Second Trio, written during his evacuation in WW II, is full of the composer’s personal anguish at the loss of a friend, Ivan Sollertinski, and the whole piece must be colored with a heavily funereal aspect to it. Again, the Rach captures this to perfection, embodying it with a nicely burnished string sound.


The bonus on this disc is the Cello Sonata, given a harrowing performance by Savinova, whose brandied tone and extraordinary ability to shift emotional gears on a dime add great excitement. The opening bars of this piece can be quite disturbing in their chant-like obsessiveness, and Savinova does nothing to assuage the effect. But this is primarily a classically oriented work, the traditional forms used as a vehicle for tremendous repartee between cello and piano in a variety of contrasting movements.


The Trio Paian turns in equally affecting yet generally softer and less hard-edged performances of the trios on a Coviello Classics issue, also on SACD. The bonus there is the wonderful Trio by composer Paul Juan, a real discovery. Tacet has recently released a fine disc with the Abegg Trio in performances of great beauty, with more sharpness than the Trio Paian, but also more clinical than those found on this current release. There, the advantage is the unusual Second Trio written in 2006 by one Michael Obst, though for comparison purposes it is not as engaging as the Paul Juan work. If water-boarded, I would probably say go with this current release—it’s that good.


FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1. Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Victor Yampolsky (Piano), Natalie Savinova (Cello), Mikhail Tsinman (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 10 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2. Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Mikhail Tsinman (Violin), Victor Yampolsky (Piano), Natalie Savinova (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 10 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Victor Yampolsky (Piano), Natalie Savinova (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 27 Minutes 3 Secs. 
4. Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Natalie Savinova (Cello), Victor Yampolsky (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 27 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5. Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in E minor, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Natalie Savinova (Cello), Natalie Savinova (Cello), Victor Yampolsky (Piano),
Mikhail Tsinman (Violin), Victor Yampolsky (Piano), Mikhail Tsinman (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 27 Minutes 8 Secs. 
6. Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in E minor, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Natalie Savinova (Cello), Natalie Savinova (Cello), Victor Yampolsky (Piano),
Mikhail Tsinman (Violin), Victor Yampolsky (Piano), Mikhail Tsinman (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/2005 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 27 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Superb April 12, 2012 By S. Xenakis (Washington, DC) See All My Reviews "Performance: Fiercely committed and emotionally charged execution. Excellent ensemble playing that conveys the spontaneity of a live performance. The final movement of op. 67 is particularly harrowing, as it should be.

Sound: Vivid sound complements the deeply concentrated performances. Even on a conventional CD player, the recording presents depth and differentiation between the instruments. Any harshness of tone seems to be the choice of the musicians rather than a flaw in the recording process, and it invariably fits the emotional content of the music, in my opinion. "
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