Shaham, Pletnev: Glazunov - Kabalevsky - Violin Concertos (APE)
Shaham, Pletnev: Glazunov - Kabalevsky - Violin Concertos (APE)

Performer: Gil Shaham
Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
Composer: Alexander Glazunov, Dmitry Kabalevsky, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 252 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82
Composed by Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
Performed by Russian National Orchestra
with Gil Shaham
Conducted by Mikhail Pletnev

# Violin Concerto in C major, Op. 48
Composed by Dmitry Kabalevsky
Performed by Russian National Orchestra
with Gil Shaham
Conducted by Mikhail Pletnev

# Souvenir d’un lieu cher, for violin & piano (or orchestra), Op. 42
Composed by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Russian National Orchestra
with Gil Shaham
Conducted by Mikhail Pletnev

# Valse-scherzo, for violin & orchestra (or violin & piano) in C major, Op. 34
Composed by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Russian National Orchestra
with Gil Shaham
Conducted by Mikhail Pletnev

Great Music-making

In our era of big egos, it’s refreshing to see two artists of great stature come together to celebrate the magic of Russian music. Having been fortunate enough to see both Shaham and Pletnev live in recitals, I was delighted the moment Glazunov’s moderato started playing. Pletnev brings his trademark energetic elegance and Shaham virtuosity (so perfectly demonstrated in recent “Devil’s Dance” CD) accommodates with ease and finesse.
In Russia, Kabalevsky is most often thought of as a Bolshevik composer. While it’s partly true, he also wrote some of the most exquisite violin music since – well – Glazunov, and it is actually a quite natural coupling of two great concertos.
To make this disc even better, the artists included some of Tchaikovsky’s morsels. The intent, probably, was to show a connection in Russian music school even as it changed though the decades. It worked well (you can clearly hear Tchaikovsky’s lyricism in Kabalevsky’s 1948 concerto), but it also provided for some pure joy moments, such as Meditation (track 7).
DG, as usual these days, provided perfect sound quality. The only thing I would add, though, is the piece that “started it all,” i.e. the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, but since Gil Shaham has already recorded it just a little while back with Giuseppe Sinopoli (coupled with Sibelius concerto) we could easily fill this “gap” by getting both discs.

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