American pianist/conductor Constantine Orbelian makes a rare appearance as pianist in this beautiful and compelling recording, as he blends his superb pianism with the renowned Moscow String Quartet. Orbelian is known worldwide as the “American in Russia” who “stands astride two great societies, and finds and promotes synergistic harmony from the best of each.” Fanfare His pianism has been characterized as “buoyant, brilliantly detailed” The Guardian and acclaimed for its “expressive power and sweep.” Ovation

Alfred Schnittke himself described the Moscow String Quartet as “an extraordinary ensemble that distinguishes itself with refined musical style, an unusually beautiful sound and palette of colors, and a tremendous artistic temperament.” The Quartet has earned a place worldwide among the most distinguished artists of our time.

The pairing of Shostakovich and Schnittke here recalls the powerful album “Dedicated to Victims of War and Terror” with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (DE 3259), in which Orbelian conducts the Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Op. 110a, and is both conductor and pianist in the Schnittke Concerto for Piano and Strings. “Hits one between the eyes… deep and warm and staggeringly true…” BBC Music Magazine wrote of that album.

Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57
Schnittke: Piano Quintet