It's probably unfair to compare Sergey Khachatryan's 2006 recording of Shostakovich's violin concertos accompanied by Kurt Masur leading the Orchestre National de France with David Oistrakh's classic recordings of the works: the 1956 Mitropoulos/New York Philharmonic First and the 1967 Kondrashin/ Moscow Philharmonic Second.
Recordings such as this superb one serve to remind us that though we may think we know the output of the major composers, there are still treasures to be discovered. Works for individual instruments find their way into recital programs but often lie in shadow of the 'big works' for the concert.
Ondine's successful partnership with violinist Christian Tetzlaff continues with a new release. The new recording contains the two Violin Concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), two powerful works by the composer originally written for David Oistrakh. Christian Tetzlaff has been considered as one of the world's leading international violinists for many years, and still maintains a most extensive performing schedule. Musical America named him "Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2005 and his recording of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann, released on Ondine in 2011 (ODE 1195-2), received the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". Tetzlaff's recording of the Mozart Violin Sonatas (ODE 1204-2) was chosen Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice and Recording of the Month by the BBC Music Magazine. Tetzlaff's previous release on Ondine featuring the Schumann Violin Sonatas (ODE 1205-2) was also chosen Disc of the Month by the Gramophone Magazine.
James Ehnes, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and its charismatic music director Kirill Karabits went directly to the studio to record these two great 20th-century concertos after performing them in concerts the Observer described as ‘extraordinary’. Of the Shostakovich, the paper went on to say ‘the brilliant James Ehnes … apparently encountering no technical problems in this hazardously difficult work, transmitted its mood of bitter melancholy and dry-eyed grief with alert, responsive support from the orchestra’.