Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
The two violin concertos occupy a major place, both musical and human, in Shostakovich’s output and document particularly painful moments in his existence. The condemnation of his music in 1948 and the subsequent wilderness years in the Concerto No. 1, Op.99, and his incessant health problems after 1963 in No. 2, Op.129, which marks his first dodecaphonic experiments. These immense masterpieces are characterised by their sombre emotional hues, the sarcastic outbursts of the fast movements and the fiendish difficulties of the cadenzas.
“Shoji delivers technically flawless and insightful performances. Despite its authentically grainy Russian timbre, the Ural Philharmonic is sometimes flaccid.” — BBC Music Magazine, May 2012