add to wish list | library

12 of 12 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the links provided below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Delos -
  SA 3259
  Shostakovich/Schnittke - Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Orbelian
  "Dedicated to Victims of War and Terror" Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Schnittke: Concerto for Piano and Strings

Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Constantine Orbelian (piano, conductor)
Track listing:
  1-5. Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
6-10. Schnittke: Concerto for Piano and Strings

Total time: 47:37
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recording Producer: Ramiro Belgardt
Recording Engineer: John Eargle
Associate Recording Engineer: Jeff Mee
DSD Recording: Gus Skinas
Surround Mixing: Ramiro Belgardt, Jeff Mee

Recorded Skywalker Sound, Marin County CA, March 5 & 7, 2000

read discussion | delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Reviews: 3

Site review by Castor March 2, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by raffells February 2, 2007 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I was put off buying this SACD disc for many years.It was one of the first releases I can remember.The reason, mainly Its title and the fact I find The string quartets of Shosty are too deep and similair to Beethovens Late quartets in a number of ways.This Chamber symphony is a reworking of his best known 8th quartet and not just a grossed up version.(Their is another different chamber symphony btw)
Its been commented on before that Shosty often used the famous 4 note motive based on the German notation of his initials and even if you dont know this work you will pick up on this motif in the work.The other reason I stayed away is Schnittke, Whos 2 nd release on SACD of film music was less interesting by far than the first.IMO.
I once had a Piano concerto on vinyl for "prepared Piano" that was so awfull to listen to that I would much rather have my rear end rubbed with a concrete block that endure it again.Cannot remember who I disliked that much that I GAVE the Lp to..Neither can I remember who worked it onto me for that matter??...This is different and even though it will require some concentration to listen to it is a worthwhile addition from the composer who gave us the Opera "Life with an idiot". As you can expect it is individual without going too overboard..Prokofiev and a few others may come to mind for comparisson.Played by this orchestra as though it was second nature..I hadnt realized how much of Schnitkes work hass been recorded..
Recording quality is exceptional for the both works but fairly close up and weighty on the Shosty.The wider dynamics of the second work call for a slightly lower recording level in order to ensure the very loud passages dont overload.
I am only posting this to make sure it registers the full 10 stars it deserves and it seems occasionaly to be available at a bargain price...Dont think twice...get it...

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by Beagle March 5, 2008 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Günter Grass begins his novel ‘The Tin Drum’ with the words “Granted, I am an inhabitant of an insane asylum…”. In the same spirit of full-disclosure I must say “Granted, I am the string quartet fanatic who rages whenever an à quattro is fluffed out for full orchestra.”. But I am also on record here as not mere accepting but enjoying Barshai’s transformation of Shostakovich’s Eighth Quartet*. And I absolutely love it here, as realised by Orbelian & Co. --I am tempted to call Opus 110a my favourite Shostakovich symphony. Shostakovich’s music drags itself along from depressive Largo to mournful Largo to… depressive Largo: beautiful but sad (how could he be happy, with a musical signature of D, Eb, C Bb?). This music is perhaps life-affirming if only in the sense of ‘somehow, I survived all that…’.

I am a Schnittke fan, certainly of his quartets. Schnittke himself favoured strings, and in much of this Concerto the piano finds itself accompanying the string orchestra. But that doesn’t mean that the piano and Orbelian the pianist are submerged in the orchestral sound. It is quite the opposite, given the microphone placement -- with at least one mike apparently inside the piano, creating the amusing illusion of the orchestra being in the back of the piano! Pace Castor, it may not be a realistic soundscape as heard from the third-row, centre – but it makes very delicious ‘ear candy’. I am also a bit surprised that Castor found the Schnittke piece to be “even more anguished” than the Shostakovich, since I find it relatively ‘upbeat’ by comparison, consistently thoughtful but occasionally as celebratory as church bells. Our divergence of impressions testifies to the depth of the music here, which can support a rich variety of individual experiences, all of them I hope pleasurable.

Constantine Orbelian justifies recording these two works together with the common theme of ‘victims of war etc’, but they are remarkably different in sound, structure and social milieu. Their pairing makes for a mentally refreshing contrast, more than a continuous theme. The music-making of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra is outstanding, even in the context of such excellent ensembles as Mackeras’ Scottish Chamber Orchestra (which itself is damned good). The sound-capture, an early essay into DSD, is wonderfully rich at all frequencies. I, at least, find the venue of the Shostakovich piece very much to my liking, neither too lively nor too dead in resonance. I do find the piano miking of the Schnittke piece to be astonishingly ‘close’ – but it entertains my senses more than it offends my sensibilities.
*Barshai subsequently transformed Shostakovich’s Third and Tenth Quartet, but I have never heard them performed.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 2  

Alfred Schnittke - Piano Concerto No. 2
Dmitri Shostakovich - Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a