Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Enrico Dindo / Gianandrea Noseda

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Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Review

by James Manheim

Dmitry Shostakovich's two concertos for cello and orchestra, both written for Mstislav Rostropovich (whose recordings remain standards), come from 1959 and 1966. Although the first one is a more rhythmic, outgoing work, both are cut from the same cloth, with intensely inward passages alternating with material in Shostakovich's light Russian-folk mold. In the more serious stretches the cellist often stands exposed and alone, required to carry quite despairing material over long arcs. Italian cellist Enrico Dindo, not a well-known name but one that you're likely to be hearing again, is exceptionally good here. For the high point of it all, hear the final movement of the Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 126, which is somewhere between Beethovenian and Tchaikovskian in its affect although not in its language. It begins in gloom, rises heroically, and then recedes once again into the inner recesses of the soul. Dindo is a bit less effective in the Russian-flavored material. This may be because Russian musicians have inborn facility with such passages, or simply that the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under the workmanlike Gianandrea Noseda is not a terribly outgoing group. But, especially in the second concerto, this release can easily stand comparison with the other newer Shostakovich cello concerto albums out there, and it boasts very fine Super Audio sound from Chandos.

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