Dmitri Shostakovich 1906-1975
Cello Concerto no.1

Sonata for cello and piano op.40


Here are two masterpieces for cello by Shostakovich, written 25 years apart. The insolent Sonata op.40 of 1934 contemporary with Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, the opera soon to plunge its composer into disgrace with Stalin was answered in 1959 by the bitter self-questioning of an artist who seemed to have sunk into depression. This Cello Concerto ends with a wicked caricature of true joy, adding the final touch to the extreme polymorphism of a traumatised humorist who had long since learned not to laugh . . .