SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Sonatas / Kremer 4776196

You'd have to be a die-hard purist not to appreciate the virtues of these two fascinating transcriptions . . . In this new context the Scherzo and the extraordinary climax of the Finale pack an extra degree of ferocity, whilst at the other end of the dynamic spectrum, the closing passages to the first and third movements sound even more eerie than in the original. Recorded live at concerts given in Russia, Gidon Kremer and his marvellous Kremerata Baltica respond to the music with searing commitment, the audience remaining totally gripped throughout the performance . . . All of the performances are recommended.

All 68 minutes of this disc are devoted to the virtuosic depiction of what might be called żgray on grayż, a kind of dark November sound world that becomes, finally, as commanding as the composer's much-admired Mahler or Beethoven. Kremer ist not just one of the great living violin virtuosos but also a thinking manżs virtuoso virtually incapable of conventionality . . . This is Shostakovichżs end-of-life music, and its austere, utterly pure and, as performed, almost all of a piece. Not only does there seem nothing inappropriate about the adaptions for violin and string orchestra, they seem almost ideal -- inventive and powerful in an way that the composer might have thought of himself if he hadnżt run out of time.

. . . the quality of the playing is such that almost all of my objections have been silenced . . . The live recordings in St. Petersburg and Moscow in 2005 are superb: I urge all genuine admirers of this composer to hear these performances.

Gidon Kremer's playing . . . has lost none of its acute incisiveness or, in the final bars, its expressive intensity . . . Yuri Bashmet plays with uncommon commitment and is given unstinting support by Kremerata Baltica. Sound is well balanced . . . and there are informative notes from David Fanning. Arrangements recommendable as alternatives to . . . the originals.

In dem Geiger Gidon Kremer hat Schostakowitsch seinen ebenbürtigen Interpreten gefunden . . . alles tönt bis zum i-Tüpfelchen nach dem großen verzweifelten Russen . . . Das Klangbild ist lupenrein, die Bässe fordern das ganze Können der Wiedergabekette.

Die Kremerata Baltica verleiht der erstmalig auf Tonträger erscheinenden Orchestrierung der Klavierparts mit wütenden Attacken besondere Schärfe . . . Gidon Kremer und Yuri Bashmet interpretieren zeichnerisch klar und strukturbewusst.

. . . sowohl Gidon Kremer als auch Yuri Bashmet liefern durch jahrzehntelange Erfahrung mit den Werken geprägte beeindruckende Interpretationen ab.

Une belle découverte . . . transcendée par l'archet de Gidon Kremer.