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DSCH – SHOSTAKOVICH ENSEMBLE

 

DSCH – SHOSTAKOVICH ENSEMBLE

Artistic direction: Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro

The DSCH - Shostakovich Ensemble is a Portuguese project with an international dimension, based in Lisbon, under the artistic direction of the pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro.

A chamber ensemble of variable geometry, the Shostakovich Ensemble constitutes a platform for meeting and interaction of musicians of excellence in the international scene, masters in their instruments, animated by the pleasure of making chamber music and a deep artistic complicity.

It was created by Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro in 2006, the centennial year of the birth of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich, to whom the ensemble owes its name. This tribute to a composer follows the history and experience of some of the main ensembles founded in the 20th century, such as the Beethoven Quartet (Russia), the Alban Berg Quartet (Austria), the Borodin Trio (USA), the Ysaÿe Quartet (France) or the Schönberg Ensemble (Holland). In the case of the Schostakovich Ensemble, it is also intended to praise the artistic ideal of authenticity and humanism, of rigor and passion, expressed in the autobiographical musical enigma enclosed in the hidden musical signature of Dmitri Shostakovich, the DSCH cryptogram created by the composer based on the first letters of his name and nickname, that is, the thematic musical motif "D – E flat – C – B natural", used in some of his most significant works.

The vast repertoire of the Shostakovich Ensemble includes works by composers from various periods and musical styles, from Bach to Schumann, from Mozart to Messiaen, from Haydn to Webern, from Brahms to Ravel, from Beethoven to Dvořák, including contemporaries such as Sofia Gubaidulina, with whom the Ensemble has established close collaboration.

The Shostakovich Ensemble became in 2008 Resident Ensemble at the Belém Cultural Center, in Lisbon. Since its debut in 2006, the Shostakovich Ensemble has also performed concerts from north to south of Portugal, namely in the cities of Bragança, Matosinhos, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Viseu, Coimbra, Lisbon, Portimão and Faro, among others. In the other countries in which the Shostakovich Ensemble has performed concerts, like Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Sweden or Russia, it always obtained a great receptivity of the public and excellent reviews of the musical critic. In this context, it has also unveiled the Portuguese musical heritage, premiering in some of those countries works by Portuguese composers of different periods.

During the first decade of existence, the Shostakovich Ensemble has included, among others, the violinists Corey Cerovsek, Renaud Capuçon, Benjamin Schmid, Jack Liebeck, Karen Gomyo, Philippe Graffin, Tatiana Samouil and Cerys Jones, the violists Isabel Charisius, Gérard Caussé, Lars Anders Tomter and Vladimir Mendelssohn, the cellists Adrian Brendel, Christian Poltéra, Gary Hoffman, Kyril Zlotnikov, Justus Grimm, Nicolas Altstaedt and Edgar Moreau, the double bassists Matthew McDonald and Tiago Pinto-Ribeiro, the flutists Silvia Careddu and Adriana Ferreira, the oboists Ramón Ortega and Jonathan Kelly, the clarinetists Pascal Moraguès and Michel Portal, the percussionists Juanjo Guillem and Pedro Carneiro, the bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman, the singers José van Dam, Anna Samuil and Maria Gortsevskaya, and the pianists Eldar Nebolsin, Rosa Maria Barrantes and Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro.

Since 2006, some of the Shostakovich Ensemble concerts RTP Antena 2 have been recorded and broadcasted by RTP Antena 2 and French television channel Mezzo.

2018 marks the beginning of Shostakovich Ensemble's discography, with the world's first recording of Dmitri Shostakovich's Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings, recorded by Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, Corey Cerovsek, Cerys Jones, Isabel Charisius and Adrian Brendel. This double CD album, edited by Paraty label and worldwide distributed by Harmonia Mundi PIAS, is receiving several accolades - 5 Diapasons, CLIC and Best Album of 2018 Classique News, Luister 10, Opus D’Or, etc - and great reviews from the international press such as Gramophone, Das Orchester, Diapason, The Guardian, Luister, Scherzo, among others.

 

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Contact: dsch@filipepinto-ribeiro.com

Due to the several versions of the name Shostakovich in languages that use the Latin alphabet, the Shostakovich Ensemble also uses other forms of transcription such as: Schostakovich Ensemble, Chostakovich Ensemble, Schostakowitsch Ensemble or Chostakovitch Ensemble, among others.

 

 

PRESS

DAS ORCHESTER, Friedemann Kluge
June, 2019
***** (maximum classification)
"The works gathered here contain all the imaginable colors of the soul and are so illuminated by the interpretation of the musicians participating in this recording that we can only regret once again that Alfred Nobel did not consider the musicians in his famous will. Here would be this year's candidates! But hopefully the Grammy or the newly created Opus Klassic will reward this exceptional record production.”
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DIAPASON, Patrick Szersnovicz
February, 2019
5 Diapasons
“[...] The DSCH - Shostakovich Ensemble is a flexible chamber collective of outstanding quality, as demonstrated in this admirable recording. The post-romantic character of Shostakovich’s 1st Trio is celebrated with a refined touch by Cerovsek, Brendel and Pinto-Ribeiro. The more famous 2nd Trio is given a broad yet nuanced narrative dimension. The same is true of the Piano Quintet Op. 57 which is refreshingly more fleet-footed than many other recordings. Brendel and Pinto-Ribeiro favour the neo-romantic side of the Sonata for Cello and Piano, and the apparent independence of their voices is underpinned by a consistently homogeneous ensemble. Cerovsek and Pinto-Ribeiro seek to humanize the purpose of the Sonata for Violin and Piano. Its intense and subtle concentration eschews the impulsive contrasts often heard in other versions. The Sonata for Viola and Piano, presented here by Isabel Charisius, conveys a state of twilight ecstasy, bringing this formidable collection of excellently performed chamber works to a close in an atmosphere of serene intensity."

GRAMOPHONE, Richard Whitehouse
March, 2019
“[...] The DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble favour a taut and objective though never casual or facile approach – witness the stealthy accruing of momentum in the Fugue of the Piano Quintet; the ardency of its Intermezzo duly carried over the Second Piano Trio, whose propulsive Scherzo and elegiac Lento are rounded off by a finale which draws its Jewish inflections into a lithe yet cumulative entity the more affecting when shorn of affectation. Turning to the duo works, Adrian Brendel has the measure of the Cello Sonata – whether the taciturn manner of its opening movement and rapt pose of its Largo or the effervescence of its Scherzo and finale. The Violin Sonata has long been considered among Shostakovich’s more intractable pieces but Corey Cerovsek brings out the bleakness of its opening Moderato and ensures the Scherzo’s rethoric never becomes hectoring, before delineating the variations of the Passacaglia with a palpable sense of their formal and expressive unity. Isabel Charisius evinces comparable insight in the Viola Sonata (the composer’s swansong) as it unfolds from the speculative unease then sardonic humour of its initial two movements to a closing Largo which, whatever the nature of allusions real or imagined, conveys an undeniable benediction. Here, as also in the impulsive early First Piano Trio and wistful elegance of the posthumously published Moderato, Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro contributes pianism as deft as it is perceptive. The sound is lean and keenly focused, in keeping with these performances, and there are extensive booklet notes. Anyone who is interested in current Shostakovich interpretation should certainly hear this set.”
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THE GUARDIAN, Fiona Maddocks
December 2nd, 2018
"[...] The DSCH-Shostakovich Ensemble was formed in 2006, the centenary of the birth of the composer whose name the group takes. This two-disc set of Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings (Paraty) is a mark both of their devotion to him, and their expert understanding. The ensemble’s founder, the Portuguese pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, is the binding force between the two piano trios, piano quintet and various sonatas. Adrian Brendel excels in the ferment and lyricism of the majestic Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op 40. Isabel Charisius, one-time violist of the Alban Berg Quartet, and Corey Cerovsek are similarly expressive in works for viola and violin."
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SCHERZO – REVISTA DE MÚSICA, Félix de Azúa
January, 2019
"[...] In short, this group of seven pieces forms the biography and the testament of one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Each of the five performers on this album have distinguished careers. The ensemble, in groups of two or three or five musicians, is technically perfect, but even more apparent is their intimate understanding of the music. As a set, this recording sheds a fascinating, fresh light on these celebrated works."

CRESCENDO MAGAZINE, Ayrton Desimpelaere
February 11th, 2019
10-10-10-10, maximum classification
“[...] The Shostakovich Ensemble launches this complete set for the Paraty label, a finely crafted project. Based in Lisbon, this flexible ensemble was created by the pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro in 2006 with a wide repertoire from Bach to Messiaen. The five artists offer us the best we can hear of this music. Encompassing irony, gravity and tenderness, the musicians respect and reinvent this complex and fascinating music. A thrilling record to discover quickly!"
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CLASSIQUE NEWS, Hugo Papbst
November 12th, 2018
CLIC of CLASSIQUE NEWS, best album of 2018
"[...] Never before has this seminal set of 20th century works been combined into one album: this is presented here thanks to the initiative of the pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro and his DSCH - Shostakovich Ensemble. Listening to this intimate music (under the veil of distant cynicism), one has the impression of a group of distinctive voices that are also capable of merging into an astonishing collective sound. Recorded on 2 CDs for the label Paraty, this complete set is an event, a true achievement that is ultimately a modern reference for Shostakovich interpretation. The music-making is consistently original, sincere and stimulating. CLIC of CLASSIQUENEWS 2018, elected the best CD of the year 2018."
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LUISTER MAGAZINE OVER KLASSIEKE MUZIEK, Basia Jaworski
November 2018
LUISTER 10, maximum classification
“[...] The Shostakovich Ensemble is certainly a group to keep an eye on. Not only do they play at the highest level, they also have a lot to say, no more so than in their recording of Shostakovich’s Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings for Paraty. The Cello Sonata is so incredibly well played here that I could totally lose myself in it. The Sonata for Viola and Piano also receives an incomparably good performance.”

KULTURRADIO RUNDFUNKS BERLIN-BRANDENBURG, Hans Ackermann
November 8th, 2018 *****
"[...] This Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings album presents consistently excellent performance of all these largely well-known works. The Piano Quintet op. 57 and the second Piano Trio op. 67 stand out again as the masterpieces. In the Piano Trio, composed in 1944, Shostakovich expressed the highest degree of emotion. Especially in the beauty of the Largo, the interpreters show their special understanding of the composer, who was deeply grieving at the time."
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OPUS HAUTE DÉFINITION, Jean-Jacques Millo
December 2018
Opus D’Or (maximum classification)
"[...] In these admirable performances, the DSCH - Shostakovich Ensemble overwhelms us with its impressive commitment, giving us the singular impression of being able to touch the music. This observation is confirmed from beginning to the end of a faultless musical journey where all becomes revelation and beauty. Here is a complete set to savor to the full."
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OPUS KLASSIEK, Aart van der Wal
December 2018
"[...] A top ensemble reveals its qualities in the most refined musical details, and the DSCH Shostakovich Ensemble is no exception. The intonation and balance are perfect. The phrasing, accents, dynamics are at the highest level. In short, the Ensemble shows an extremely rich musical culture that places these seven pieces (together forming the Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings) in the most sparkling light. The depth and stratification with which the five musicians play these works shows their imagination and the finest musical intention.”
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EXPRESSO, Ana Rocha
January 12th, 2019 *****
“Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro and his Shostakovich Ensemble gave a recital in Paris that marked the international release of the album with the complete chamber music for piano and strings of the Russian composer. The Shostakovich Ensemble held an artistic and musical "battle" in Paris with bravery and enthusiasm, presenting on stage a formidable technique. Well prepared and considered by the French, German, English and Dutch critics as genuine Shostakovich chamber music experts, with absolute sensitivity, conviction and concentration, they did not spar vitality and momentum in the attacks, in an intense dialogue between the musicians. With a long standing ovation for a very sophisticated musical performance, the Shostakovich Ensemble savored its triumph."

EXPRESSO, Ana Rocha
December 8th, 2017
“Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time found in the DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble an enormous rhythmic precision, transparency, colour mastery, ductility and righteousness. […]” 

PÚBLICO, Pedro Boléo
March 2nd, 2009
“Uma interpretação inteligente e gratificante do Schostakovich Ensemble no Carnaval dos Animais de Saint-Saëns. Obras de Schostakovich e Poulenc confirmaram que ali estavam grandes músicos também na flauta, no clarinete, nos pianos, no oboé e no fagote. No “Baile de Máscaras” de Poulenc, os músicos vieram mascarados e tocaram com alegria e vigor. [...]”

EXPRESSO, Ana Rocha
March 18th, 2017
“At the hall that acclaimed Schubert’s Trios and singing like no other, this “pure” music was the one interpreted by the DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble, directed by its founder Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro. The Portuguese pianist, in this occasion accompanied by Esther Hoppe (violin), Isabel Charisius (viola), Christian Poltéra (the cellist that performed with a 1711 Stradivarius, an instrument that belonged to his teacher, Heinrich Schiff), flooded the works with an interpretation of immense plastic and poetic quality. With an absolute freedom adjusted between each one of the musicians and in a never limited sound space, it was an opportunity to exhibit enormous finesse. […]”

PÚBLICO, Cristina Fernandes
June 8th, 2009
“Uma celebração da música de câmara. Sob a designação “Haydn e Mendelssohn, Entre Dois Mundos”, as obras foram inteligentemente agrupadas. [...] O Sexteto de Mendelssohn é uma obra de fulgor juvenil, à qual o pianismo de Pinto-Ribeiro (com uma articulação clara e uma energia rítmica propulsora) imprimiu um carácter lúdico que muito entusiasmou a audiência. [...]”
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EXPRESSO, Ana Rocha
December 5th, 2015 *****
“With intense contrasts and very well defined between the piano textures and the four string instruments, Gérard Caussé, Jack Liebeck, Kyril Zlotnikov and Tiago Pinto-Ribeiro dialogued with effervescence, rhythmic verve and energy with the Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro’s piano. [...]”

PÚBLICO, Cristina Fernandes
October 2nd, 2006
“O Schostakovich Ensemble (DSCH) demonstrou energia, paixão e sentido dos contrastes, levando a sala a uma entusiástica ovação. [...]”