Simon Trpčeski, Cristian Măcelaru & Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava - Shostakovich: Piano Concertos & Piano Trio No. 2 - International Piano

The mood swings in this programme are extreme, reflecting an exceptional sense of enterprise. As David Fanning points out in his exemplary booklet essay, the First Concerto’s influences include Ravel, Prokofiev, Gershwin and Stravinsky, while the Second is radically different, a touchingly intimate gift from a father to his 19-year-old pianist son Maxim.

Yet the real masterpiece here is the Second Piano Trio, written in painful memory of those who died in the Second World War as well as a deeper personal loss: a world without reason or equilibrium (to evoke Sviatoslav Richter’s description of Prokofiev’s ‘War’ Sonatas). Used to create a bleak and sinister undertow to Denis Dercourt’s 2006 film The Page Turner, it can leave even the most sanguine listener shaken. These performances by Simon Trpceski and the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra are of such immaculate brilliance and musical quality they even challenge Martha Argerich’s incendiary recording of the First Concerto. This is a disc to treasure.

International Piano
01 August 2021