Author Topic: Daniil Shafran  (Read 3950 times)

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Offline ccar

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Daniil Shafran
« on: January 09, 2011, 12:26:52 PM »
                                                 

                              “... Shafran turned all our pre-conceptions on their head, both musically and technically.
                              Everything was utterly different from anything we had heard before - it was rivetting ...
                              He was incapable of playing one note insincerely; his music spoke from the soul”
Steven Isserlis

                                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lkN0TyQKmg&feature=related


The Brilliant Box edition dedicated to Daniil Shafran (1923-1997) put some light on an almost unknown name, but certainly one of the most talented and individual cellists of the last century. Shafran won the first prize of the USSR All Union Competition at 14 and was very soon recognized as one of the most prominent musicians in Russia. But he was always unjustly overshadowed by Rostropovitch. In contrast with his famous fellow, Shafran never received the support of the Regime and was very rarely allowed to play outside Russia. This made his name an obscure legend in the West and led him to endure some hard difficulties, particularly at the end of his life.

The playing of Daniil Shafran is very individual. With Shafran there is always a continuous attention to the expressive line and an amazing capacity to discover beautiful phrasing, unusual dynamic nuances or color details. For me the intensity and the freedom of his cello playing were only rarely matched. 

The discography of Daniil Shafran is very extensive but dispersed. The Brilliant Box is more easily available but to get a broader perspective of Shafran there are also the CD reissues from Cello Classics, Melodiya, Aulos, Revelation, Yedang, Vista Vera or Doremi.   


               
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 12:28:26 PM by ccar »

PaulSC

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 02:15:03 PM »
His is not among my favorite recordings of the Bach cello suites, but I imagine he could be immensely compelling in other repertoire.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 02:22:33 PM »
His is not among my favorite recordings of the Bach cello suites, but I imagine he could be immensely compelling in other repertoire.

Nor do I like his romantic almost rapsodic approach to the Bach suites. Each to his own.
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Online Brian

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 07:20:43 AM »
Shafran was actually my introduction to (most of) the Bach cello suites. He certainly helped me get over the idea that they were dry and academic. I think his enormously romantic, emotionally supercharged playing enabled me to listen to other recordings with more of a sense of what to listen for, in the sense that Shafran helped explain what the emotional appeal of Bach can be.

Offline Luke

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 01:38:43 AM »
Love that Brilliant set, yes indeed - but I can hardly stand to look at it. Who made the decision to flip the pic of Shafran on the cover and all the inner sleeves so that he appears to be playing his cello backwards? Hideously stupid.  >:(  ;D  $:)

Online George

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 05:04:43 PM »
                                                 

                              “... Shafran turned all our pre-conceptions on their head, both musically and technically.
                              Everything was utterly different from anything we had heard before - it was rivetting ...
                              He was incapable of playing one note insincerely; his music spoke from the soul”
Steven Isserlis

                                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lkN0TyQKmg&feature=related


The Brilliant Box edition dedicated to Daniil Shafran (1923-1997) put some light on an almost unknown name, but certainly one of the most talented and individual cellists of the last century. Shafran won the first prize of the USSR All Union Competition at 14 and was very soon recognized as one of the most prominent musicians in Russia. But he was always unjustly overshadowed by Rostropovitch. In contrast with his famous fellow, Shafran never received the support of the Regime and was very rarely allowed to play outside Russia. This made his name an obscure legend in the West and led him to endure some hard difficulties, particularly at the end of his life.

The playing of Daniil Shafran is very individual. With Shafran there is always a continuous attention to the expressive line and an amazing capacity to discover beautiful phrasing, unusual dynamic nuances or color details. For me the intensity and the freedom of his cello playing were only rarely matched. 

The discography of Daniil Shafran is very extensive but dispersed. The Brilliant Box is more easily available but to get a broader perspective of Shafran there are also the CD reissues from Cello Classics, Melodiya, Aulos, Revelation, Yedang, Vista Vera or Doremi.   


               

How's the sound on the white Melodiya box set? It seems there is some overlap between it and the Brilliant Set and I am wondering if the sound upgrade is worth it. 
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline ccar

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 05:42:59 AM »
How's the sound on the white Melodiya box set? It seems there is some overlap between it and the Brilliant Set and I am wondering if the sound upgrade is worth it.

It is always nice to see some renewed interest in Daniil Shafran.
There is no overlap between the two boxes (except for the Rachmaninoff sonata but in the Brilliant set it is with Flier - 1956 - and in the Melodiya with Ginsburg, 1979) and the sound on the Melodiya set is quite good - actually it is globally better than in the Brilliant box (which includes mostly earlier recordings). Hope this helps.

Online George

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 10:38:01 AM »
It is always nice to see some renewed interest in Daniil Shafran.
There is no overlap between the two boxes (except for the Rachmaninoff sonata but in the Brilliant set it is with Flier - 1956 - and in the Melodiya with Ginsburg, 1979) and the sound on the Melodiya set is quite good - actually it is globally better than in the Brilliant box (which includes mostly earlier recordings). Hope this helps.

Thanks, but there is quite a bit more overlap than that. As I see it, these works are on both sets, a number of them are the exact same performances:

1,2. J. S. Bach
Unaccompanied Cello Suites Nos. 2, 4
(different performances)

3. Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19
(different performances)

4. Shostakovich: Cello Sonata, Op. 40
Dmitri Shostakovich, piano

5. Prokofiev: Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 125
USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor

6. Franz Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto #2 in D Major, Op. 101 (Hob. VII:I)
(different performances)

7. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello, Op. 33
Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondarshin, conductor (r.1949)
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Offline ccar

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2019, 10:44:24 AM »
Thanks, but there is quite a bit more overlap than that. As I see it, these works are on both sets, a number of them are the exact same performances:

1,2. J. S. Bach
Unaccompanied Cello Suites Nos. 2, 4
(different performances)

3. Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19
(different performances)

4. Shostakovich: Cello Sonata, Op. 40
Dmitri Shostakovich, piano

5. Prokofiev: Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 125
USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor

6. Franz Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto #2 in D Major, Op. 101 (Hob. VII:I)
(different performances)

7. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello, Op. 33
Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondarshin, conductor (r.1949)

Yes, you are right - the Tchaikovsky variations are indeed the same performance in both boxes. However, this is the only real overlap. The Haydn concerto are also different performances (in the Melodiya box the Haydn is with Jarvi 1977 and in the Brilliant box with Rozhdestvenky 1961), the Prokofiev are different pieces (in the Melodiya it is the sonata Op119 and not the concerto Op125), the Shostakovitch in the Melodiya is the sonata for viola and piano Op 147 (arranged for cello by Shafran) and not the cello sonata Op.40 and as far as I can see there are no Bach suites in the Melodiya box.

I compared the sound of the Tchaikovsky variations (the only real overlap) and I didn't see any significant difference - they are both surprinsingly good for a 1949 recording (with a later stereo remastering) - and this was an opportunity to enjoy again this wonderful performance from the young Shafran.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2019, 11:17:21 AM »
This is, I believe, by far the greatest performance of Kabalevsky's Cello Concerto No.2  (his masterpiece IMO) which was, I think, written for Shafran:

That Melodiya LP was a revelation to me.

Here (below) it is on CD:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 11:21:47 AM by vandermolen »
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Online George

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2019, 01:09:16 PM »
Yes, you are right - the Tchaikovsky variations are indeed the same performance in both boxes. However, this is the only real overlap. The Haydn concerto are also different performances (in the Melodiya box the Haydn is with Jarvi 1977 and in the Brilliant box with Rozhdestvenky 1961), the Prokofiev are different pieces (in the Melodiya it is the sonata Op119 and not the concerto Op125), the Shostakovitch in the Melodiya is the sonata for viola and piano Op 147 (arranged for cello by Shafran) and not the cello sonata Op.40 and as far as I can see there are no Bach suites in the Melodiya box.

I compared the sound of the Tchaikovsky variations (the only real overlap) and I didn't see any significant difference - they are both surprinsingly good for a 1949 recording (with a later stereo remastering) - and this was an opportunity to enjoy again this wonderful performance from the young Shafran.

Thanks for comparing the sound on the two sets.

Can you check this and confirm if the contents listed are accurate? http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/viewtopic.php?t=40260

If so, then the entire first CD is Bach suites.
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2019, 09:40:26 PM »
The Kabalevsky concertos and Bach suites are classics in my book.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2019, 09:58:35 PM »
The Kabalevsky concertos and Bach suites are classics in my book.
Don't know the Bach but I'm sure you're right. I was sorry that the Shafran box set on Brilliant doesn't feature the Kabalevsky Cello Concerto No.2, only the first one.
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Offline Irons

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2019, 10:47:51 PM »
Shafran himself transcribed to cello Shostakovich's last work, the dark and heartfelt Viola Sonata. Usually I prefer the original  (Shafran also recorded a transcription of the Franck Violin Sonata) but in this case the cello of Shafran comes out top for me.



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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2019, 11:26:39 PM »
Shafran himself transcribed to cello Shostakovich's last work, the dark and heartfelt Viola Sonata. Usually I prefer the original  (Shafran also recorded a transcription of the Franck Violin Sonata) but in this case the cello of Shafran comes out top for me.



That looks like a very interesting release. Is it on CD Lol?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Mandryka

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2019, 11:48:52 PM »
Yes when I was exploring this music I vaguely remember  enjoying the Shaffran Shostakovich transcription very much,  I have it in a transfer with some Strauss and Brahms, I can let you have it if you want.

I also remember the Brahms was good to hear, a transcription of the four serious songs. My head is so full of Machaut and Abelard at the moment I can’t bring myself to listen to these things.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 11:51:40 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2019, 12:29:29 AM »
Yes when I was exploring this music I vaguely remember  enjoying the Shaffran Shostakovich transcription very much,  I have it in a transfer with some Strauss and Brahms, I can let you have it if you want.

I also remember the Brahms was good to hear, a transcription of the four serious songs. My head is so full of Machaut and Abelard at the moment I can’t bring myself to listen to these things.

Thanks v much. Kind of you. I will PM you when my PM system is up and running again.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline ccar

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2019, 01:25:38 AM »
1. Contrary to the CMG link the Melodiya "white box" does not include any Bach suites. Volume "one" has Schubert's Sonatina D384 (transcribed for cello by Starker) and Arpeggione D821, Schumann's Adagio and Allegro for french horn and piano (version arranged for cello and piano by Shafran) and Debussy's Cello Sonata, Ministrela and Minuet (transcriptions for cello).

2. The "complete" Bach suites are available in other CD editions (Melodiya, Aulos, Doremi,Vista Vera, ...). These editions usually include "latter" recordings made between 1969 and 1974. There are two earlier recordings of Suites no1 (1953) and no.6 (1958) that are more difficult to find on CD (no1is available in Doremi DHR-7853). The readings may be called "romantic" but for me they are beautiful and inspired - you may probably think of a similar approach to Bach's WTC from Feinberg.

3. Kabalevsky's concerto no.2 is a very unique piece (with reference to the deaths during WWII) and I also agree that Shafran's reading is quite impressive - the recording is from 1967 (with the composer conducting) and is available on CD (Cello Classics and Melodiya) . There is also an interesting video of the performance available in youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmur6skJXoE

4. The Shostakovitch viola sonata (transcription) is available in the Melodiya box.

5. The Brahms Four Serious Songs transcriptions (by Shafran) are beautiful pieces - difficult to get but available in Yedang and Melodiya CDs and also in youtube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4kMNk2E24  .There are also interesting recordings of the Brahms sonatas no.1 (1980 Melodiya) and no. 2 (1980 Melodiya and 1959 Meloclassic) and of the Hungarian dance no.20 arranged for cello and piano (Classound).
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 01:28:41 AM by ccar »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2019, 02:41:10 AM »
I see that the Cello Concerto No.2 was once coupled with Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' Symphony - this seems to relate to ccar's point about the work above.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 02:42:57 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online George

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Re: Daniil Shafran
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2019, 05:20:46 AM »
1. Contrary to the CMG link the Melodiya "white box" does not include any Bach suites. Volume "one" has Schubert's Sonatina D384 (transcribed for cello by Starker) and Arpeggione D821, Schumann's Adagio and Allegro for french horn and piano (version arranged for cello and piano by Shafran) and Debussy's Cello Sonata, Ministrela and Minuet (transcriptions for cello).

Now I am wondering if there are two white Melodiya box sets, for I found an eBay listing that confirms the CMG info, including the all Bach CD 01: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Daniil-Shafran-Cello-by-Melodiya-MADE-IN-RUSSIA-BRAND-NEW/183847342233?epid=115559446&hash=item2ace27d099:g:HJkAAOSw84Zb~DGQ



Allmusic also has this set listed and it has the same contents as listed on CMB and eBay. https://www.allmusic.com/album/release/daniil-shafran-cello-mr0003639032

Are you thinking of another Melodiya box, ccar?


"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure