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International Classical Music Award for Alban Gerhardt’s recording of Shostakovich’s cello concerto

The Berlin cello virtuoso Alban Gerhardt had already aroused great enthusiasm in 2007 with his recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s famous Cello Sonata in D minor op. 40 and the Eight Pieces for Cello and Piano including Schnittke's Madrigal in memoriam Oleg Kagan, the 1st Cello Sonata and “Sounding Letters” on the Hyperion label (Hyperion CDA 675334). Eleonore Brüning reported at the time in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Alban Gerhardt and his piano accompanist Steven Osborne very wisely did not exaggerate with contrasting accents. Their reading remained differentiated, always closer to the sound speech of the musical text than to musical whispers. 

Now Alban Gerhardt, already a recipient of numerous awards for his CD recordings (including three ECHO-Klassik prizes and a Gramophone Award), has followed up with a recording of the two cello concertos op. 107 and op. 126 by Dmitri Shostakovich with the WDR Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, which has just received an award from the jury of the International Classical Music Awards in the category “Concerts”. The International Classical Music Awards are considered the highest accolade in the professional world. The award ceremony is scheduled for June 2021 at a gala in Vaduz (Liechtenstein).

For the announcement of the award, the jury of twenty international jurors wrote: “Even for experienced cellists, Shostakovich’s concertos are among the greatest challenges. Alban Gerhardt’s expressive interpretation combines masterful playing with a tone that can be described as feverish and rough, but also slender and distinguished. Without eccentric gestures, his fluid, colourful playing brings rarely heard intensity to the composer's darkly coloured sound world.”

On the CD:
Dmitri Shostakovich:
Cello Concertos No. 1 op. 106 and No. 2 op. 127
Alban Gerhardt (cello)
WDR Symphony Orchestra; Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Hyperion CDA 68340

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