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Recording by Simone Lamsma of Violin Concertos by Shostakovich and Gubaidulina

The First Violin Concerto, Op. 77 by Dmitri Shostakovich has depressive as well as downright cheeky, grotesque traits. Depression and longing, aggression and rebelliousness are found almost side by side in this work. The Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma has succeeded in capturing all these gradations in her admirable new recording of the Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of James Gaffigan. She plays the cantilenas of the introductory Moderato full of empathy - it is a nocturnal movement by turns expansive and melancholic.

The young Dutchwoman also develops her extraordinary musical culture in the second violin concerto "In tempus praesens" by Sofia Gubaidulina, originally composed for Anne-Sophie Mutter. This work is conducted by the great Dutch specialist for contemporary music, Reinbert de Leeuw, once again with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Several special features play a structural role in this composition. The numbers three and one, derived from the divine trinity, are of central importance to Gubaidulina. "But this [one] contains an infinite, multidimensional world within itself, and thus an infinite number of characteristics", the composer explains. Thus the grand unison at the transition from the fourth to the fifth part of the work – for Gubaidulina a metaphor for the present ("tempus praesens") – simultaneously stands for variety in unity."

There is also the second concept, derived from the first name of her world-famous soloist and almost identical to her own - "Sophia" - which Gubaidulina understands not only as divine wisdom but also as God's creative energy. In the form and conception of this five-part work, Sofia Gubaidulina declarably refers to the "double vector of Sophia".

The CD:

Dmitri Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77
Sofia Gubaidulina: "In tempus praesens": Violin Concerto
Simone Lamsma (violine)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
James Gaffigan, Reinbert de Leeuw
Northstar Recording CC72681

 

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