M&V: Shostakovich and Comrades - Murray McLachlan

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Music and Vision

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Feb 21, 2010, 12:23:43 PM2/21/10
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'Fifty years ago the same "familiar" British pianists' names cropped
up repeatedly. Notably Denis Matthews (1919-1988), emigre Lamar
Crowson (1926-1998), Susan Bradshaw, (1932-2005), Peter Katin (born
1930), Colin Horsely (born 1920), Bernard Roberts (born 1933 in
Manchester), Kathleen Long (1896-1968) etc.

'Then there were England's peerless four, viz Dame Myra Hess
(1890-1965), Solomon (1902-1988), Clifford Curzon (1907-1982) and John
Ogdon (1937-1989).

'But now the land is swarming with a whole generation of excellent
newcomers. Their heightened efflorescence appears to date (approx) to
the demise of sublimely gifted East-Midlands virtuoso, John Ogdon.

'Murray McLachlan is one such; Beside recorded repertoire from
Schubert to Busoni, forty-five-year-old McLachlan has assiduously
championed music of his native Scotland and of Russia.

'These 2006 performances bring us Stevenson's Recitative and Air
(1975, 5'35") meant for Shostakovich's seventieth birthday. It should
not be confused with his monolithic eighty minute Passacaglia on DSCH
(1960-1962) based on a thirteen-note ground bass derived from the
musical motif D, E flat, C, B: a German transliteration of Dmitri
Shostakovich's initials ("D Sch").'

- Howard Smith, whose complete, illustrated review is featured in
today's Music & Vision Magazine

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