Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 - In tempus praesens (2017)

Shostakovich, Gubaidulina

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Simone Lamsma

James Gaffigan, Reinbert de Leeuw

Dmitri Shostakovich – Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77
The Central Committee reorganised the entire musical life in the Soviet Union in 1932, setting up a union for composers and adding to it the ‘Orgkomitet’ – the committee for control of quality and ideology – in 1939. The Composers’ Union expressed the purpose of the Soviet composer in the following terms: “The Soviet composer must concentrate his attention predominantly on the victorious, progressive objectives of reality, on all that is heroic, clear and fine. This distinguishes the spiritual world of the Soviet citizen and must be embodied in musical imagery that is full of beauty and power.”

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James Gaffigan

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him. 

In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphony-Orchestra (Berlin), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester, Zurich, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Sydney Symphony. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others.

Born in New York City in 1979, Mr. Gaffigan has degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

In 2009, Mr. Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. James Gaffigan’s international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. 

photo: cover CC72779 (Challenge)

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Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 - In tempus praesens (2017)

Shostakovich, Gubaidulina

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Simone Lamsma

    Musicweb International

This is a genuinely potent performance, the first movement filled with emotional depth, the contrasting Scherzo a sharp, almost panicky dance of death, the urgent rhythms of which propel us into a remarkable Passacaglia, “a masterpiece – mature, elegiac and highly lyrical.” Lyrical yes, but also full of dark drama that is fully exploited in this recording. The final movement Burlesque has a demonic feel, Lamsma digging deep into the strings of her Stradivarius, pitting her single violin against the forces massed behind her and, as with the Scherzo, propelling us with high-tensile nervous angst into a world of smoky industry and a society stained by fear.

Dominy Clements[read full review]

    HR Audio -

"The star of Simone Lamsma has risen with such a remarkable speed that she, only 32 years young, now firmly ranks among the top echelon of violinists of our time. This recording proves it beyond any shade of doubt. In her reading of Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1, Ms Lamsma not only has the required skills & bravura, but is also able to understand and share the emotional aspects with Maestro James Gaffigan, a conductor I hold in high esteem. He takes Simone Lamsma by the hand into the tragi-magical life of Shostakovich, thus assuring a combined reading which does not turn pale in the face of any other top performance. This is a deeply moving account which has to be heard to be believed. And when I say 'heard', there are only two suitable ways: In the concert hall with the full dynamics, or else at home with the best possible sound reproduction in order to be completely engulfed and gripped by the cruel history it conveys. Bert van der Wolf of Northstar Recording Services has once again mastered an exemplary recording, made at the facilities of the Dutch Broadcasting Music Center, Hilversum, The Netherlands. On top of that Lamsma has something on offer which the others don’t: Gubaidulina’s ‘In tempus praesens’ with Reinbert de Leeuw on the rostrum. A violin concerto in one movement from a Russian composer that merits all our attention. She isn’t an innovator ‘for the sake of it’. She brings new, spiritually inspired dimensions to the musical language. Until the early 1980s hardly known in the West, she represents the generation after Dmitri Shostakovich. Her reputation was rapidly established through the efforts of Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich. This will for many be a first discovery. It is a live recording and some associated noises could apparently not be avoided as they come from the nearby members of the orchestra. Don’t expect something easy on the ear, although it is in a way melodious, breathtakingly conceived and performed. It is about Sofia, “the Greek goddess of wisdom ... involved in the creation of the world and of art. She embodies the preoccupation of artists of both the light and dark sides of our existence”. It is at the same time a tour the force for the soloist. She is during more than 38 whole minutes the only violinist on stage (no first and second violins). Compensation comes from doubled woodwinds, three Wagner tubas and multiple percussion, making for extreme contrasts. Lamsma gives it a brilliantly extrovert reading, doing full justice to the sense of ‘In tempus Praesens’ and I urge you to find out for yourself the extent of the creative impact Gubaiduline, aged 86, was still able to produce. Phenomenal. Expect applause at the end. Performance and Multichannel Sonics: 5 out of 5 Stars."

Adrian Quanjer[read full review]

Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 - In tempus praesens (2017)

Shostakovich, Gubaidulina

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Simone Lamsma

Cables: Siltech
Digital Converters: dCS, Merging
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Mastering Room: Avalon Acoustic
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: MCO Hilverusm, (Gubaidulina - Concertgebouw Amsterdam)
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72681: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 - In tempus praesens
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Tracks.
1.
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77- Nocturne- Moderato
Shostakovich
00:11:49   Select quality & channels above
2.
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77- Scherzo- Allegro
Shostakovich
00:06:25   Select quality & channels above
3.
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77- Passacaglia- Andante
Shostakovich
00:15:16   Select quality & channels above
4.
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77- Burlesque- Allegro con brio Presto
Shostakovich
00:05:01   Select quality & channels above
5.
In tempus praesens
Gubaidulina
00:34:47   Select quality & channels above

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