Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1

The great Shostakovich completed his first cello concerto in 1959. The concerto is dedicated to Mistlav Rostropovich, who many including myself deem the World's Greatest Cellist. The piece is known for demanding great technical feats and a strong sense rhythm. The first movement starts with the cellist playing the famous DSCH motive, then moves toward a very rhythmatic figure started with the winds then passed to the strings as the cello plays a quasi- legato melody full of syncopation. The second movement calls upon the cold Siberian winter where Shostakovich was I believed banished, the ending sends an icy shiver down the spine as the cello plays hollow harmonics. The third movement is tied into the fourth movement with a cadenza by the cello. The last movement is by far the funkiest, which lots of accents on the off rhythms and perhaps the most virtuostic movement of the concerto.

In the video Mistlav Rostropovich is playing the 3rd and 4th movements. Also to be noted Oct. 30th David Bjella cello professor here at Stetson will be playing the entire concerto with the Stetson Symphony!

1 comment:

Dr. Michael A. Denner said...

wow, slava is SO YOUNG here. he wasn't exactly exiled to siberia, but as a punishment i believe he was made to tour around a bunch of little villages instead of hanging out in leningrad...