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Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Lutoslawski / Peter Jablonski


Release Date: 04/03/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 436239   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovWitold LutoslawskiDmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Peter Jablonski
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ashkenazy's 20-year-old Swedish protégé proves worthy of the maestro's patronage. On the evidence of this disc he is a well-balanced musician with his heart and fingers in the right places, and his chosen programme is a stimulating one.

Jablonski's Rachtnaninov perhaps commands more respect than excitement, but it won my respect before I was aware of his youth. Generally lucid and level-headed, his limitations show up at extremes of the character range. In particular, he does not yet have the knack of retaining communicative intensity in quiet lyrical playing, and a number of variations, such as the first Dies irae from 322", are inclined to sit back on their haunches. Some of his loudest chords are
Read more accompanied by foot-stamping, and in the famous Eighteenth Variation Jablonski's singing tone, pleasant though it is, lacks a degree of richness—the orchestra's entry at 15'55" sounds as though taken from a different, more emotionally committed take. That said, he is a very musicianly player, and the RPO's attentive contribution and Decca's superb recording help to make this one of the more satisfying accounts on record.

The Shostakovich concerto is a good choice, not just as a near contemporary of the Paganini Rhapsody, but as a bridge to the zany world of Lutoslawski. It receives a fluent, well-judged and idiomatic performance with every note in place and some lovely trumpet playing from Raymond Simmons. This is a valuable complement to the manically explosive Kissin on RCA; the even younger Russian's brashness did nothing for MEO but it strikes me as a perfectly valid response to the 'low-art' origins of so many of Shostakovich's ideas.

Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations are a 1978 orchestration of the familiar 1941 two-piano work. I had not heard this version before and was instantly captivated. Jablonski, whose credentials include having been voted best jazz drummer in Sweden at the age of seven (!), revels in its high jinks, and Ashkenazy and the orchestra just manage to hang on to his coat-tails—an exciting end to an admirably played and recorded disc.

-- Gramophone [12/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Peter Jablonski (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/1991 
Venue:  Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 6 Secs. 
2. Variations on a theme of Paganini for Piano and Orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Peter Jablonski (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941/1978; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studio, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Peter Jablonski (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studio, London 
Length: 22 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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