Saturday, November 04, 2006

New review for Shostakovich and his comrades CD

The following review appeared in The Herald on October 21st.

Shostakovich and his Comrades: A Centenary CelebrationDmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-87)Sonata No. 3 in F major, Op.46 (1946) [13:55]Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950)’Song and Rhapsody’, Op.58 (1942) [11:32]Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75)Piano Sonata No.1, Op.12 (1926) [12:36]Ronald STEVENSON (b. 1928)Recitative and Air (DSCH) (1975) [5:35]Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75)Piano Sonata No.2 in B minor, Op.61 (1942) [27:06]Rodion SHCHEDRIN (b. 1932)Tschastuschki: concerto for piano solo, ‘Naughty Limericks’ (1963/99)Murray McLachlan (piano)rec. The Whiteley Hall, Manchester, 26 & 27 August 2006. DDDDUNELM DRD0264 [79:44]

Pianist Murray McLachlan’s new CD is a mind-blowing tour de force of repertoire and performance. Devised as a centenary celebration of the great Russian composer, McLachlan’s disc is certainly that: the performances of Shostakovich’s two sonatas address the major issue of their neglect. The first, a youthful work, is a monstrous piece of percussive pianism which, crudely, out-Prokofiev’s Prokofiev, while the second, from the war years, is a more measured, mature and “interior” piece, movingly played by McLachlan. The core value of the disc resides not just in Shostakovich but in the fact that McLachlan spreads the net wide, taking in Kabalevsky’s wonderful. Prokofiev-influenced Third Sonata, Myaskovsky’s deeply profound Song and Rhapsody, Shchedrin’s wickedly outrageous Naughty Limericks concerto for solo piano, and Ronald Stevenson’s image-laden memorial to Shostakovich, Recitative and Air. A very important issue, recorded, McLachlan told me last week, at Chetham’s Music School this summer in a series of single takes. Astonishing stuff, some of which McLachlan will be playing live in Glasgow’s Ramshorn on Tuesday 31.

Michael Tumelty, CD Reviews in The Guide, Arts; Books; Cinema; p4; The Herald , October 21, 2006.Ref. 0264 rev MT Glasgow Herald.doc


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