Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Shostakovich: The Jazz Album / Chailly, Royal Concertgebouw


Release Date: 02/16/1993 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 433702   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Peter MasseursRonald Brautigam
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

On Order: Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



Shostakovich jazz music? Taken at face value, this CD is nothing of the sort. Shostakovich's lively and endearing forays into the popular music of his time were just that, and light years away from the work of real jazz masters such as, say Jelly Roll Morton or Duke Ellington And yet they do say something significant about Shostakovich's experience of jazz, as a comparison of these colourful, Chaplinesque Jazz Suite Suites with roughly contemporaneous music by Gershwin Milhaud, Martinu MartinJ, Roussel and others will prove. Shostakovich engaged in a particularly brittle almost Mahlerian form of parody—his concert works are full of it—and that is what comes across most powerfully
Read more here. Besides, and as annotator Elizabeth Wilson rightly observes, 'real' jazz was treated with suspicion in Soviet Russia and Shostakovich's exposure to it was therefore limited.

The two Jazz Suites were composed in the 1930s, the First in response to a competition to "raise the level of Soviet jazz from popular cafe café music to music with a professional status", the Second at the request of the then-newly formed State Orchestra for Jazz (!). The First will make you chuckle, but it is the Second (subtitled "Suite for Promenade Orchestra") that contains the best music, especially its achingly nostalgic Second Waltz. The instrumentation is light (saxophone and accordion add a touch of spice to a generally bland recipe), while the playing here is quite superb. In fact, there's little to be said about Chailly's direction other than it is good-humoured, affectionate and utterly professional, his Royal Concertgebouw players sound at home in every bar and the recording (Grotezaal, Concertgebouw) is both clean and ambient.

Taiti trot came to life when Nikolai Malko challenged Shostakovich to score Vincent Youmans's Tea for Two in an hour, or less—which he did, as a sort of mini-concerto for orchestra, each refrain being dealt to different instrumental forces. Fun that it is, its charm is terminal. Which leaves the Piano Concerto, music that for sophistication and inventive ingenuity is actually closer to what we now think of as jazz than the Jazz Suites (sample the free-wheeling, improvisatory opening to the last movement, on track 7). Ronald Brautigam's instrument is twangy at the bass end, which mightn't seem too inappropriate, but as it was recorded two years before the other items on the disc (1988), I doubt that that was the intention. Still, it's a lively, fairly intense reading, neatly supported by Chailly and trumpeter Peter Masseurs, but ultimately less memorable than Alexeev (CfP) or Jablonski (Decca), not to mention the less refined but notably characterful composer himself (EMI).

--Gramophone Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Jazz Orchestra no 1, Op. 38b by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USSR 
Date of Recording: 02/1990 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 7 Minutes 56 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Peter Masseurs (Trumpet), Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 03/1988 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 21 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Suite for Jazz Orchestra no 2, Op. 50b by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USSR 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 24 Minutes 1 Secs. 
4.
Tahiti Trot, Op. 16 "Tea for Two" by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USSR 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Jazz Suite No.1: 1. Waltz
Jazz Suite No.1: 2. Polka
Jazz Suite No.1: 3. Foxtrot
Piano Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet & strings, Op.35: 1. Allegretto
Piano Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet & strings, Op.35: 2. Lento
Piano Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet & strings, Op.35: 3. Moderato
Piano Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet & strings, Op.35: 4. Allegro con brio
Jazz Suite No.2: 1. March
Jazz Suite No.2: 2. Lyric Waltz
Jazz Suite No.2: 3. Dance I
Jazz Suite No.2: 4. Waltz I
Jazz Suite No.2: 5. Little Polka
Jazz Suite No.2: 6. Waltz II
Jazz Suite No.2: 7. Dance II
Jazz Suite No.2: 8. Finale
Tahiti Trot

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In