Rodion Shchedrin: Humoreske

Rodion Shchedrin has written lots more than his wonderful Carmen Ballet, even though that’s what he’s best-known for. One very popular piece is his Humoreske, the last of his Three Funny Pieces. This exists in many versions (I have a recording for Piano Trio which is quite good). What all the versions share is humour. Shchedrin, I reckon, would have got on well with Rossini, and I’d say there’d be great crack at a dinner party if they were both at it.

These two videos from YouTube give some idea of the sense of humour he’s capable of. Video quality is very poor in Marc-AndrĂ© Hamelin’s solo piano offering, but it’s worth putting up with for the wonderful tongue-in-cheek delivery. The second, from what looks like a fun evening at the Verbier Festival, is equally good fun, especially notable for the star lineup.


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