The two piano concertos of Shostakovich, though strikingly different from each other, have both become twentieth-century classics. The first has long been one of Marc-André Hamelin’s party pieces and we are delighted to have paired him with Andrew Litton, a conductor who knows these works backwards (he has recorded the second concerto as pianist!), to give the resulting performances a vitality and flair, which we think places them amongst the greatest.
The Shchedrin concerto, though less known, is no less enjoyable. There is brilliance in both the piano writing and the orchestration, and the surprise appearance in the finale of a jazz trio including vibraphone and drum kit is sure to bring the house down.
One of our records of the year!