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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Total time: 01:13:18
Bert van der Wolf
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Bert van der Wolf
Bert van der Wolf
MCO Hilverusm, (Gubaidulina – Concertgebouw Amsterdam)
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|Release Date||March 10, 2017|
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.
“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.”
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