Magazine article Czech Music

Dmitri Shostakovich

Magazine article Czech Music

Dmitri Shostakovich

Article excerpt

Dmitri Shostakovich

Piano Trio no. 1 op. 8, Piano Trio no. 2 in E minor op. 67, Seven Songs (Alexander Blok) op. 127

ArteMiss Trio: Adela Stajnochrova--violin, Alzbeta Vlckova--cello, Jana Holmanova--piano, Alzbeta Polackova--soprano. Production: Jiri Stilec. Text Eng. Ger., Czech. Recorded: 10, 11/2004, Lichtenstejn Palace, Martinu Hall, Prague. Published: 2005. TT: 63:17. 1 CD Arco Diva UP 0069-2 131 (distribution Classic).

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975) is one of the composers who determined the course taken by music in the 20th century. He started very early, writing his 1st Piano Trio at the age of 17. His lifelong output covered a huge range of genres of classical music including film music but from that early beginning he showed great individuality with strong distinctive features, unusual technical maturity (he was himself an outstanding pianist) and enormous powers of musical expression. Naturally his 1st Piano Trio of 1923 still bears the traces of the predecessors and teacher admired by the young composer. Here we find the influences of Tchaikovsky, but also of Skriabin and Glazunov. The romantic twelve-minute piece is sentimental, but also merry and in places appropriately urgent. The performers have understood everything down to the smallest detail and we can perhaps say that they felt an affinity with the young composer's mind. Shostakovich was later to develop and deepen everything to be found in the 1st Piano Trio in masterly fashion (This was a piece actually completed by the composer's pupil Boris Tishchenko, but the fact makes no difference to the contention). Shostakovich's graduation piece at Petrograd Conservatory--his 1st Symphony aroused such interest and admiration at its premiere in 1926 that it literally opened the doors of the world to the composer. He was then to react quite clearly in his work to his period of successes and frustrations under the oppressive Stalin regime. Naturally he invested his deepest reflections in his wartime works, of which the most famous is the 7th Leningrad Symphony. His Second Piano Trio written in 1944 falls into this cruel period, although by this time Shostakovich together with other artists had been moved to the wartime rear. In this "great" trio, the ArteMiss Trio is so expressively concentrated that in places the interpretation sounds raw and rough, but this was just the way that the composer conceived the piece, for the Nazi frenzy seemed to be endless. …

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