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Shostakovich: Piano Concertos, Piano Quintet / Helmchen, Jurowski


Release Date: 05/31/2011 
Label:  Lpo   Catalog #: 53   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Martin Helmchen
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These highly acceptable accounts of the two Shostakovich piano concertos are live performances from the Royal Festival Hall in 2008 (No. 1) and 2009 (No. 2). The sound quality is excellent, and the young soloist Martin Helmchen shows himself adept in all aspects of No. 1’s quirky humor and satirical modernism, No. 2’s playful high spirits and – in the famous Andante – a nostalgic romanticism Rachmaninov might have been proud of. In No. 1 he’s ably seconded by Paul Beniston’s assertive and characterful trumpet playing. Altogether, these are enjoyable and safely recommendable versions of both works, though in No. 1, at least, I would not prefer Helmchen over the fiery duos of Leif Ove Andsnes and Håkan Hardenberger with the CBSO (EMI), Read more or Martha Argerich and Sergei Nakariakov, also on EMI.

What makes this disc more special is a truly superb account of Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, recorded in studio conditions at Henry Wood Hall. Helmchen, with Pieter Schoeman and Vesselin Gellev (violins), Alexander Zemtsov (viola) and Kristina Blaumane (cello), turns in a searching, expressive, witty, fantastical account of this multi-faceted work. This could stand with Argerich’s account (coupled with her Piano Concerto No. 1 on EMI) or Elisabeth Leonskaya and the Borodin Quartet on Teldec. The composer’s 1949 version with the Beethoven Quartet (Doremi) remains the ultimate benchmark, of course, but this is one of the most impressive performances of the work that I’ve heard in recent years.

– Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Martin Helmchen (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USSR 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 102 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Martin Helmchen (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; USSR 
3.
Quintet for Piano and Strings in G minor, Op. 57 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Martin Helmchen (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USSR 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35: I. Allegro moderato
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
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: III. Allegro
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: I. Prelude: Lento
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: II. Fugue: Adagio
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: III. Scherzo: Allegretto
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: IV. Intermezzo: Lento
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57: V. Finale: Allegretto

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