Shostakovich - Piano Quintet (Verbier Festival 2008)

Shostakovich – Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (Argerich, Bell, Kraggerud, Bashmet and Maisky)

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57, one of best-known chamber works of the Russian composer. Live recording from the Verbier Festival 2008, Switzerland. Martha Argerich: piano, Joshua Bell: 1st violin, Henning Kraggerud: 2nd violin, Yuri Bashmet: viola, Mischa Maisky: cello.

The quintet is in five movements. With the starting times in the video:

  1. 01:00 Prelude: Lento
  2. 05:24 Fugue: Adagio
  3. 14:46 Scherzo: Allegretto
  4. 18:08 Intermezzo: Lento
  5. 25:08 Finale: Allegretto

Like most piano quintets, it is written for piano and string quartet (two violins, viola and cello).

Shostakovich began work on the piece in the summer of 1940 and completed it on September 14. It was written for the Beethoven Quartet, as were most of his string quartets, and premiered by them with Shostakovich himself at the piano on November 23, 1940 at the Moscow Conservatory, to great success. In 1941, it was awarded the Stalin Prize (the Soviet Union’s state honor, existed from 1941 to 1954. Then it became The USSR State Prize in 1966 and after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the prize was followed up by the State Prize of the Russian Federation.)

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