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Dvorak, Franck, Shchedrin & Shostakovich

Dvorak: Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66
Franck: Cello Sonata in A major
Shchedrin: Double Concerto for piano, violoncello and orchestra 'Romantic Offering'
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
BONUS: Behind the Scenes with Rodion Shchedrin, Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky.

Martha Argerich
(piano) & Mischa Maisky (violoncello), Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/Neeme Järvi

Accentus Music: ACC10224

concert photo Franca Pedrazzetti


This DVD offers home viewers a vivid taste of a notable Lucerne Festival experience. The first ever concerto for piano and cello is likely to prompt some young composers to have a go; music for unusual combinations is proliferating (e.g. the Verdehr Trio's 200 commissions for violin/clarinet/piano trios).

Schedrin's essay gives us the rare opportunity to see Argerich tackling something quite new, working from the score and discussing tempi etc at rehearsal.

The new concert is not overwhelmingly convincing as a future repertoire piece, but certainly worth hearing twice; which this DVD makes easy...

The orchestration is full and well filmed at Lucerne, with a real Bonus in the documentary about the preparation of this premiere, joining reharsal days and conversations round about Lucerne's lake and its KKL concert hall; evocative and full of memories for those of us who know it well.

Neeme Jarvi is not the most photogenic of conductors; he does not play to the audience. His work must be mainly done in rehearsal and in the recording studio (over 440 discs !). I found the Dvorak lack-lustre and the Shostakovich symphony not quite the most persuasive of performances.

But what makes this disc an essential purchase is the intensity of Maisky and Argerich in Franck's violin sonata, totally convincing in the Jules Delsart arrangement which the composer approved. And this is definitely better seen as well as heard!

Peter Grahame Woolf