“Shostakovich: Piano Concertos 1, 2, Preludes and Fugues”
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35,
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102,
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 1 in C major,
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 4 in E minor,
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 5 in D major.
Dmitri Shostakovich (Piano), Ludovic Vaillant (Trumpet).
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française – André Cluytens.
Shostakovich’s piano playing is jawdropping throughout this recording, especially on the two concertos. You can hear the seriousness and the contrasting humour in both of these works as well as serene romanticism. The key thing about these concerto recordings is that they are delivered with a level of energy and rhythmical tautness that has simply never been matched since. Lodovic Vaillant’s trumpet playing in the first concerto has a swagger and nonchalant humour that perfectly matches Shostakovich’s own playing. The ‘Three Fantastic Dances’ and the five ‘Preludes and Fugues’ which follow show off Shostakovich’s superb solo piano technique and are definitive authentic performances of these works.