Glazunov, Kabalevsky & Tchaikovsky (Gil Shaham)

Violin Concerto in A minor, op.82
Violin Concerto in C major, op.48
Souvenir d' un lieu cher, op.42
Valse-Scherzo, op.34
Gil Shaham, soloist / Mikhail Pletnev, conductor
DG 457 064-2
Purchase via RNO


The Herald (Glasgow, UK)

Musically, a heads of state meeting of the superpowers takes place on this sensational disc, featuring American violinist Gil Shaham with Mikhail Pletnev and his Russian National Orchestra. The two, short, little-played concertos are out of the Tchaikovsky tradition: the Glazunov luxuriously melodic, the Kabalevsky a stunning piece with a touch of Shostakovich-like acid. Tchaikovsky pieces complete the disc. The performances are out of this world.


... The orchestral playing here is impressively clean and often radiantly beautiful. The Tchaikovsky Souvenir d'un lieu cher is heard in Glazunov's orchestration and the Valse-scherzo wraps things up in skittering, suitably dazzling fashion. ... Heard live, such a performance would bring the house down.

BBC Music

Gil Shaham's sound gleams and flashes through the acrobatic cavortings of Kabalevsky's Concerto. The remarkable flute-like effect produced in the rapid, quiet runs in the second movement is as magical as his legerdemain elsewhere is scintillating. Shaham's sound revives memories of Nathan Milstein; so, too, does the confidently aristocratic demeanour he brings to the other works heard here. ... Shaham and Pletnev offer a scrupulous account of the Glazunov Concerto. ... If you like sleek, high-energy playing, this disc is an exciting one.

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace