Shostakovich and Stevenson: On "DSCH" / Levit
The new album On DSCH by Igor Levit is a 3-CD discographic tour de force by "one of the essential artists of our time" (The New York Times). That the self-styled "maximalist" enjoys pushing himself to his limits – intellectually and physically – is well known, but the present project puts all others in the shade.
Completed in 1951, Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues lasts some two and a half hours in total, while Ronald Stevenson’s Passacaglia on DSCH, which he completed in 1963, is an unbroken set of variations lasting nearly an hour and a half. The letters DSCH spell out Shostakovich’s musical monogram using their German note names: D–Es–C–H = D–E♭–C–B. Levit himself describes the 24 Preludes and Fugues as "a kind of musical diary": "There is something utterly unique", he says, "about this combination of warmth, immediacy and pure loneliness. For me, it is a ritual of self-exploration and self-discovery that deals with the most intimate questions."
The album’s artwork is specially created by the internationally renowned artist and graphic designer Christoph Niemann. The 3-disc set is presented in deluxe paper packaging and includes a limited edition printed insert of the “cryptogram” that Shostakovich used as his musical signature.
Catalog Number: 19439809212
Label: Sony Masterworks
Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich, Ronald Stevenson
Performer: Igor Levit