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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos / Khachatryan, Masur, et al

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Violin no 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"It seems appropriate that the only classical record label still developing serious talent is called Naive, but there is nothing artless or innocent about this Armenian violinist, 21, winner of two international contests. Khachatryan plays Shostakovich with grave elegance and casual flair, tossing off the high jinks without breaking sweat while maintaining a consistent line of beguiling beauty. His objective approach is a world apart from the older-generation air of pained introspection but no less convincing in the way he turns the stone-melting Passacaglia of the first concerto from torment to hope. In the less affecting second concerto he draws a veil of melody over a chasm of despair. Kurt Masur conducts the tenderly empathetic Orchestre National de France." -Scena

Gramophone Magazine
Born in 1985 in Yerevan, Armenia, Sergey Khachatryanà is a real rival to Maxim Vengerov in this repertoire: the Shostakovich No 1 is his party piece as well. Interpreting it with a less unyielding intensity, he too satisfies its demands as few have done since the great David Oistrakh. Rock-solid intonation is combined with wonderfully sweet tone.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Do we need another pairing of the Shostakovich violin concertos? The answer is an unequivocal yes when the playing is as sensational as this.

Not just a preternaturally gifted teen, Sergey Khachatryan is a real rival to Maxim Vengerov in this repertoire: the Shostakovich No 1 is his party piece as well. Interpreting it with a less unyielding intensity, he too satisfies its demands as few have done since the great David Oistrakh.

Rock-solid intonation is combined with wonderfully sweet tone. Kurt Masur's accompaniment is characteristic of him. You'll hear the important tam-tam contributions in the first movement, which Rostropovich and/or his sound team fail to clarify, but you shouldn't expect minatory timp thwacks when the third movement passacaglia launches with kapellmeisterish restraint. Masur's lack of theatricality puts the focus on the way the music is put together. One drawback hereabouts is a microphone placement that captures soloistic sniffles, distracting if you do your listening on headphones.

The finale is aptly lighter in style, with a dash to the finishing-line perfectly calculated to win prizes and bring the house down. Authoritative booklet-notes portray the companion concerto as something of an also-ran, an impression the performance perhaps does too little to allay. There are some exquisite effects but Vengerov, Rostropovich and the LSO take us to another, darker place. In Paris the accompaniment has too much politesse and is backwardly balanced. Strongly recommended even so.

The Independent
Though still only a teenager, the Armenian-born Sergey Khachatryan is a shining beacon among today's young violinists, a persuasive interpreter with a musical personality all his own.



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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77
  • Performer: Sergey Khachatryan (Violin)
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Ensemble: French National Orchestra
  • Notes: Salle Olivier Messiaen, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France (07/05/2006-07/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1947-1948

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Violin no 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129
  • Performer: Sergey Khachatryan (Violin)
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Ensemble: French National Orchestra
  • Notes: Salle Olivier Messiaen, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France (07/05/2006-07/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1967