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Spirited Tribute to Shostakovich

February 21, 1996|TIMOTHY MANGAN

LONG BEACH — Climaxing a weekend of activities devoted to Dmitri Shostakovich, musicians under the artistic direction of Julien Musafia came together for a festive concert Sunday afternoon in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach.

The program gathered Shostakovich odds and ends, many minor and seldom heard.

The concert-ending Seven Romances on Words of Alexander Bok, Opus 127, tapped into the mother lode though, a late, austerely brooding work. Soprano Galina Pisarenko threaded her lines with rich voice and pregnantly restrained expression, closely seconded by pianist Musafia, violinist Oleh Krysa and cellist Julius Berger.

Pianist Richard Carpenter joined Musafia for a spirited and well-played performance of the entertaining Concertino.

Also heard were the Piano Trio, Opus 8; the Cello Sonata, Opus 40; and two Preludes and Fugues from Opus 87, all strongly accounted for.

The most touching moment came in the preconcert discussion with Irina Shostakovich, the composer's widow, when a film clip of the aged Shostakovich listening to a performance of his opera "The Nose" was shown: His famously morose face was enthralled, agitated, rapturously mouthing words and finally streaming with tears of joy.

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