Kapustin: Concertos for Violin & Piano; Chamber Symphony / Dupree, Philippens, Scaglione

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“…our life is like jazz improvisation, it should always be spontaneous, always in the moment, and always free.” (Nikolai Kapustin) Drawing parallels to another famous composer of symphonic jazz, Kapustin is occasionally considered a ‘Russian in Gershwin’s clothing’. Most of his compositions are influenced by jazz and expertly combine jazz elements with those of the tradition from Bach to Prokofiev and Stravinsky. The aesthetic diversity with which classical garb and the stylistic devices of jazz are amalgamated in Kapustin’s output could be taken as the byword for all three compositions included on this recording. Only late – perhaps too late for Kapustin – did his catalogue of works reach greater international recognition. People who knew him, describe him as a man who never desired the limelight. Apparently, he was happiest when he was able to compose work after work in his apartment, far away from the public eye.


The late Nikolai Kapustin has sometimes been called the Russian Gershwin, and the comparison is apt in the case of the brassy Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 56, where pianist Frank Dupree delivers a headlong, high-energy performance with able work from the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under Case Scaglione. There’s an influence from Shostakovich (who was himself not untouched by jazz) here, and Dupree captures that as well. The Concerto for violin and piano, Op. 105, adds the capable Rosanne Philippens on violin and features a ferocious ragtime passage in the middle of the finale. Son’s recording is more attuned to the humor in Kapustin’s works, and actually, the two albums complement each other. This one introduces works that could be added profitably to any symphonic concert.

-- AllMusic.com (James Manheim)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: August 06, 2021

  • Catalog Number: C5437

  • UPC: 845221054377

  • Label: Capriccio

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Nikolai Kapustin

  • Conductor: Case Scaglione

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn

  • Performer: Rosanne Philippens


  1. Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 56

    Composer: Nikolai Kapustin

    Ensemble: Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn

    Performer: Frank Dupree (Piano)

  2. Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra, Op. 105

    Composer: Nikolai Kapustin

    Ensemble: Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn

    Performer: Frank Dupree (Piano), Rosanne Philippens (Violin)

  3. Chamber Symphony, Op. 57

    Composer: Nikolai Kapustin

    Ensemble: Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn

    Conductor: Frank Dupree