20th Century
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Schostakowitsch: Violinkonzerte No 1 & 2

A century after his birth, Dmitri Shostakovich is one of the most widely performed composers of the 20th century. He is not, however, particularly associated with the virtuoso concerto as a medium, a state of affairs no doubt due to the fact that in his two violin concertos showiness is replaced by the greatest intimacy, atmospheric tone painting by emotional substance. The First Violin Concerto, for example, includes not only a dance-like Scherzo in the style of the composerÕs song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry but also a Passacaglia that builds to an altogether magnificent climax, while the Second Violin Concerto begins with an extended Moderato and culminates in a breath-taking Allegro that is positively filmic in character.

With the effortless yet precise and concentrated tone that typifies all her playing, Arabella Steinbacher reveals lightning reflexes and great sensitivity as she negotiates the obstacles and explores the depths of these two concertos, both of which were dedicated to David OistrakhArabella Steinbacher, Andris Nelson
Arabella Steinbacher, Andris Nelson
Foto: Silvia Lammertz
, who had already been Arabella Steinbacher’s model in her highly acclaimed recording of the Violin Concerto of Aram Khachaturian (Orfeo C 623 041 A). In Andris Nelsons – currently both the music director of the Latvian National Opera and principal conductor of the North-West German Philharmonic – Arabella Steinbacher has found a conductor who rounded off his studies in St Petersburg, where the First Violin Concerto was first performed, and whose current mentor is his fellow Latvian conductor, Mariss Jansons, who began his own career as an assistant in the Leningrad Philharmonic – the orchestra that gave the first performance of the First Violin Concerto. Stylistically committed to an authentic Shostakovich sound, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra contributes to a recording that leaves nothing to be desired in terms of the brilliance of the music making, in which all the performers are thoroughly attuned to one another.


Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77
1.     I. Nocturne: Adagio
2.     II. Scherzo: Allegro non troppo
3.     III. Passacaglia: Andante
4.     IV. Burlesca: Allegro con brio
Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 129
5.     I. Moderato
6.     II. Adagio
7.     III. Adagio - Allegro

Total Playing Time: 01:12:35