Piano Concerti

Dmitri Shostakovich

• Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

• Piano Quintet, Op. 57

Performer: Martin Helmchen, piano
Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski

This morning I listened to the two concerti for piano by Dmitri Shostakovich in the performance as described above. I liked this recording, and I enjoyed all the entertainment and variety that these compositions provide.

The slow movement of the second concerto is certainly quite sad, but it is soon contrasted by the final movement which seems to me to depict the melodies at a Jewish wedding. Shostakovich has been known to use themes from Jewish music in many of his compositions.

The two piano concerti of Shostakovich are joyous, witty pieces. As I said, the central slow movements are the heart and soul of these concerti, and pianist Martin Helmchen delivers excellent dynamics and heartfelt phrasing. Vladimir Jurowski and his players provide poetic and sensitive accompaniment. The outer movements are every bit as successful: vibrant, rhythmically taught, and very sharp.

I found this CD to be entertaining and enjoyable. Conductor Jurowski and the London Philharmonic play beautifully in both the concertos. Despite the “fun” element to these works, there is an underlying more serious musical sense of purpose with which the soloist (Helmchen) and the LPO perform these works.

Here is the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 2, Op 102, second movement- Andante- as performed by Yefim Bronfman



And here is Martha Argerich performing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto in C minor


Tags: Shostakovich, Piano concerti, piano quintet, London Philharmonic, Jurowski, Helmchen

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