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Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Quintet / Helmchen

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 102
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Pianist Martin Helmchen's star is on the rise: he has performed with Berlin Philharmonic/Blomstedt, Vienna Philharmonic/Gergiev and CBSO/Nelsons. He makes his débuts with Hallé/Elder and at Tanglewood Festival with von Dohnányi this season. This album features live performances of the Shostakovich Piano Concertos and Quintet by Helmchen, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski . Shostakovich's energetic piano concertos feature striking and attractive themes, with sudden changes of mood between the burlesque and haunting. The Piano Quintet displays perhaps an even greater range of styles within a work of unusual purity written under the looming shadow of war.

"As if to avoid shining too much limelight on the individual – hard in a concerto, by its show-off nature, but no doubt advisable in Soviet years – Shostakovich gives piano and orchestra well-balanced dialogue in two works for the medium, captured with nimble energy by fine young soloist Martin Helmchen and the LPO in this live recording." -The Observer

"Helmchen proves a deft interpreter of both, aided by Jurowski at his most engaging; and the outstanding performance of the weightier Piano Quintet (1940), studio-recorded with members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, makes this a rare means of acquiring all three works on one CD." -The Sunday Times

"Helmchen gives a delightfully unaffected, affectionate and note-perfect account [of the Second Concerto], the orchestra bringing out militaristic and even nightmarish aspects. There is a real fizz to the outer movements ...Helmchen and the musicians from the LPO...give a full-on passionate relay of the first movement [of the Quintet], a blanched one of the second that seamlessly rises in intensity with real eloquence and conviction." -International Record Review

"Helmchen shows himself adept in all aspects of No. 1's quirky humour and satirical modernism, No. 2's playful high spirits and - in the famous Andante - a nostalgic romanticism Rachmaninov might have been proud of...What makes this disc more special is a truly superb account of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet...this is one of the most impressive performances of the work that I've heard in recent years." -BBC Music Magazine

"Helmchen's mission seems to be to strip away layers of learnt understanding around these often performed works - looking afresh at the material itself - which works well for the Quintet and Second Concerto." -Classic FM



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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35
  • Performer: Martin Helmchen (Piano)
  • Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
  • Running Time: 21 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1933
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 102
  • Performer: Martin Helmchen (Piano)
  • Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
  • Running Time: 18 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1957
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57
  • Performer: Martin Helmchen (Piano)
  • Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall (06/24/2010-06/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1940