There’s something about strings that just seems to bring out the badass in Shostakovich. Some of my favorite passages from Shostakovich are played on either a cello or violin–they’re complex, emotional, fast, wicked, like riding on a roller coaster. The cadenza to Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto (with which the above clip opens) is a perfect example. It’s simply amazing, raw and beautiful at once.
This clip plays through to the end of the concerto, and the rest is not hard to find on YouTube.
As for recordings, I have to turn to the playing of the awesome Maxim Vengerov.