1. Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, & Strings op. 35; Symphony no. 9 / Läubin, Bronfman, Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - ArkivMusic

Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, & Strings; Symphony no. 9 / Läubin, Bronfman, Jansons, BRSO

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"Increasingly, Shostakovich's music is captivating people all over the world and appealing to their deepest emotions. Almost like no other, it bears witness to a traumatic political epoch while remaining a timeless expression of existential human feeling and experience. For me personally," said conductor Mariss Jansons, who died two years ago, "Shostakovich is one of the most serious and sincere composers of them all." Now BR-KLASSIK is releasing two more outstanding performances by this important Soviet-Russian composer: his impressive Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, and his Ninth Symphony - performed live by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its long-time principal conductor Mariss Jansons.

Shostakovich's (first) piano concerto features impressive pianistic virtuosity, bold experimentation, satire, and caricatures of different musical styles. The composer wrote it in the summer of 1933, only a few weeks after the completion of his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk". This concerto in particular demonstrates the immense versatility and magnificent talent of the still carefree 26-year-old Shostakovich. He blends a wealth of musical thoughts and ideas into a colorful and fascinating kaleidoscope. Despite the wealth of different stimuli, the concerto does not seem chaotic or overloaded: the young composer effortlessly maintains the balance. Shostakovich performed a similar balancing act between creative work and conformity to the state in his Ninth Symphony, which premiered on November 3, 1945. Instead of the expected heroic, regime-conformist orchestral thunder along the lines of his Seventh Symphony, the "Leningrad”, the music heard here was playful, without pathos, somewhat witty, full of allusions – yet something did not seem quite right. This musical conundrum, full of ironic refractions and caricatures of melodramatic and triumphant music, was recognized by the censors as a masquerade, yet one that was not easily decipherable.


I don’t think of any first-rate recording as needless, and this release, despite its short timing, features two excellent performances, even though Yefim Bronfman already has a recording of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on Sony. That version, from 1999 with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil, is nimble and quick, and it finds Bronfman more scintillating than he is in Munich in 2012.

The new Symphony No. 9, BRSO version is a live account from Vienna’s Musikverein in 2011, and in every way it is splendid. Superb recorded sound captures every detail and instrumental color in the score, and the orchestra shows off its world-class status. Jansons’s touch is light and lively, giving the symphony an irresistible buoyancy.

Thanks to some highly individual solo playing from the BRSO’s first desks, which expressively ranges from soulful melancholy to dizzying brilliance, this concert performance displays great emotional variety, including wit and suspense. I can warmly recommend it as one of Jansons’s best efforts in Shostakovich, and you can bypass the stingy timing of the CD by resorting to digital downloads and streams.

This CD is extracted from BR Klassik’s 68-disc Jansons Edition. Final applause is briefly included.

-- Fanfare

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BRK900202

  • UPC: 4035719002027

  • Label: BR Klassik

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

  • Conductor: Mariss Jansons

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Yefim Bronfman