Shostakovich: Complete Music for Piano Duo and Duet, Volume One

Catalogue No: TOCC0034
EAN/UPC: 5060113440341
Release Date: 2011-09-05
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
Artists: Jakob Fichert, Vicky Yannoula

Much of Shostakovich’s orchestral music was first heard in versions he prepared for piano four hands or two pianos – but most of these transcriptions have languished unheard since those early performances. This series uncovers all the transcriptions prepared by Shostakovich himself, coupling them with all his original music for piano duo and duet. It begins with the first recording of his four-hand version of the Ninth Symphony.

Vicky Yannoula and Jakob Fichert, piano duo, piano duet

3 reviews for Shostakovich: Complete Music for Piano Duo and Duet, Volume One

  1. :

    ‘Vicky Yannoula and Jakob Fichert provide sparkling interpretations throughout their hugely entertaining programme… Recommended.’

    —Guy Rickards, International Piano

  2. :

    ‘The balance is very satisfying and the recording copes well with the challenging dynamics. The sound is also nicely detailed in quieter passages; that’s especially welcome at the start of the Moderato, where clarity and colour really matter. What I like most about this duo is their selfless playing, directed as it is towards purely musical ends. Pacing is ideal, rhythms are well judged and there’s plenty of feeling when required. After that the bright, energetic Presto is a short but bracing ride, and the declamatory power of those big, lingering chords in the Largo is frankly intimidating. The Allegretto certainly has all the dart and deftness one could wish for, but even more important essential shape and focus are preserved throughout; that, in turn, contributes to a compelling sense of structure and purpose. … [Suite in F sharp minor:]The Finale, with its heady mix of passion and percussive edge, confirms the young composer’s burgeoning talent, not to mention the sheer wizardry of these fine pianists. … Once again I was struck by this duo’s bold yet intuitive approach to this music. They freewheel through the Concertino’s ever-changing landscapes which, as Malcolm MacDonald points out in his liner-notes, contain pre-echoes of the Piano Concerto No. 2. … Really, this is playing of uncommon quality, superbly caught by producer-engineer Michael Ponder. … The first volume deserves to be a Recording of the Month’

    —Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘The piano duet version of this [Symphony No.9] piece is a highlight of this disc as you might expect, and with an excellent performance and recording the work takes on an entirely new life in this setting. In short, it ‘works’ as a piano piece, with only a few passages during the slower movements and the extended build-up towards the end of the final movement where the sustaining quality and colourful impact of orchestral instruments are missed to a certain extent. Right from the moment where Vicky Yannoula and Jakob Fichert hammer out the accompaniment and bring out that witty theme at 0:48 into the first movement we know we’re in for a treat. Much of the music has been described as ‘Haydnesque’ or indeed light and bouncy in nature, at times bringing the nervy rhythms of Prokofiev to mind, and this is something which makes it sound as if written for the piano. The clarity of the bass lines, the variety of ‘oom-pah’ rhythms driving on terrifically and the exposed nature of the harmonies all work in excellent fashion, and the whole thing is a discovery and a feast for Shostakovich fans. […]

    With some fascinating piano duet versions of Shostakovich’s symphonies to look forward to this promises to be a series to collect. None of the performances here disappoint, the recording standard is high, and Vicky Yannoula and Jakob Fichert have the measure and spirit of all of this music very much at their fingertips.’

    —Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International

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