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Reviews: Shostakovich/Shchedrin: Piano Concertos - Marc-André Hamelin

Reviews: 5

Review by nickc March 5, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:  
hyperion have made fantastic sounding cds for years and now it looks like they are carrying it on into sacd!
the schehedrin is a huge bonus, something that you would never usually hear and whether you like it or not its for you to decide
the main concerti are played magnificently and for those that think hamelin is just a superhuman piano-playing machine have a listen to the slow movements from either concerto where he produces a beautiful veiled sonority
as has been said before: more please hyperion!

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Review by Monteverdi May 6, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Does it get any better than this?
The brilliant and extraordinary Marc-Andre Hamelin brings his interpretative gifts and limitless technical resources to the Shostakovich piano concerti and the surprising and appealing Shchedrin concerto.
Andrew Litton and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra superbly partner Hamelin.
The piano and orchestra are spread across the left and right speakers (no center channel) with the surrounds providing hall resonance.
Great performances, satisfying recording, great SACD experience.
©DAE 2004

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Review by Oscar June 23, 2005 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Fabulous performances. And Fabulous sound.

Marc-Andre Hamelin is a top notch virtuoso,and he dispatches the three concertos in this disc with faultless technique and lots of expression. The trumpet solo in the First Pianom cto. of Shostakovich is excellent. And the conducting of Litton is full of nuances and humour, indispensable in the music of this composer.

The sound is crystal clear, very realistic and defined. A must.

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Review by SnaggS September 12, 2006 (3 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
First listen, tears to my eyes.. moving.. stunning.


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Review by sylvian January 26, 2010 (7 of 18 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Sorry again to spoil the party of the previous reviewers.

This disc was a big disappointment for me with the regard of performance.....

The 2 piano concertos by Shostakovich belongs amongst my most beloved classical works and I know each of them by heart.

The absolute performance of both of them is by Elisabeth Leonskaya with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hugh Wolff on TELDEC. Unfortunately RBCD only.

This highly acclaimed Hyperion disc also contain second piano concerto by Rodion Schedrin which I is not part of this review whatsoever.

FIRST CONCERTO is unbearable speedy even with the comparison with that one presented on The BARSHAI box set released on Brilliant Classic. The uptempos of the first movement and the Modéré (moderato) simply destroys the whole work. The trumpet is very weak (although meastro originally conceived parts for both trumpet & piano equally) and played without any enthusiasm originally written in the score. The slower movements are pale and uninteresting there where Elisabeth Leonskaya can bring you to burst to tears.

SECOND CONCERTO is not so disastrous as the first one on this disc but also lacks full engagement by Mr. Hamelin. I consider Lento from this concerto as my personal anthem. That single movement can bring you to Shostakovich as close as possible and there began my love with the author but certainly not with this rendition. Go and try to find Hugh Wolff disc or that one with Barshai.

I cannot understand where Mr. Litton's attitude with Charles Ives had gone while he agreed to record such beautiful music by Shostakovich. Might be that western artists hardly understand the depths of the Slavonic Soul or simply put somethig very bad must have happened the day of the recording.

Technically this disc is PCM with no doubt - very far from the best DSD recordings I have heard to date.

The only bright side to my disappointment is that this disc came to me at a small fraction of the original price.


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