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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Availability
£10.95 www.dunelm-records.co.uk

 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.2 in G major, Op.126 (1966) [35:18]
Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 (1960-61) The Year 1917 (in Memory of Lenin) [43:36]
Jonathan Ayling (cello)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox.
rec. "live" St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1, 13 Nov 2004
DUNELM RECORDS DRD0234 [78:54]


Shostakovich is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, yet because of his dealings - or, sometimes, lack of them - with the Soviet regime, he and his music remain enigmatic. Commentators have not been able to get beneath the surface of the music to illuminate his true thoughts and the mainspring of his creativity. Good luck to them; but many, probably even a majority, of those who are uplifted by Shostakovich’s music enjoy it without going beyond its dramatic energy and, in so many cases, its sheer lyricism. The two works here recorded in a "live" performance of 13 November 2004, will appeal to both types of Shostakovich lover. Each should get hours of pleasure from this generously filled disc.

The Symphony No. 12 is subtitled "The Year 1917 – in Memory of Lenin". Is it a genuine tribute to Lenin or is it something more subtle? Probably it is the latter, but its plethora of gorgeous melody and energetic rhythms comes up as fresh as paint in this committed performance. The London Shostakovich Orchestra was formed in 1999 mainly from younger players, whose freshness and enthusiasm certainly shine through here.

That said, many people will seek out the disc for the Second Cello Concerto. Written, like its predecessor, for Rostropovich, it has never quite achieved the popularity of the First. As with the 12th Symphony, lyricism and "deeper meaning" compete for the listener’s attention. Here it finds a passionate advocate in Jonathan Ayling who (like the orchestra) makes up in dedication what he (so far) lacks in experience. His commitment carries the listener along, especially in the sardonic middle movement, so bitingly characteristic of its composer, whether he is in lighter or more serious vein. The lyrical invention of the longer outer movements remains at least as much in the memory.

This is, as I say, a "live" performance, in St. Cyprian’s Church, London, NW1, with all the problems that raises for the performers who cannot correct wrong notes and for the recording engineer who is unable to experiment with the positioning of microphones or indeed of the performers. For me these considerations are more than compensated for by the sense of occasion conveyed by this very recommendable release.

Dunelm has also recorded the London Shostakovich Orchestra performing the same composer’s 4th, 6th, 7th and 11th Symphonies, 1st Cello Concerto (again with Jonathan Ayling) and 2nd Piano Concerto. Shostakovich devotees may wish to explore them, too.

Philip L. Scowcroft



DUNELM RECORDS: LIST OF SHOSTAKOVICH RECORDINGS: 2005

All made at St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London


KHACHATURIAN: Suite No.2 from the ballet ‘Spartacus’ [21:48]
BARBER: Concerto for violin and orchestra [24:08]
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.65 [30:56]

Adrian Varela (violin)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 19 May 2001
DUNELM DRD0173 [77:19]
Reviews: C H Loh, DSCH Journal http://www.dschjournal.com/reviews/rvs16op54.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.7 in C major [‘Dedicated to the city of Leningrad’] [73:03]
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 18 May 2002
DUNELM DRD0184 [73:03]
Reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Feb03/1aFeb03-5.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Feb03/shost7dunelm.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: (‘To Maxim Dmitrievich Shostakovich’) [20:32]
Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op.103, ‘The Year 1905’ [67:27]
Marina Primachenko (piano)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 9 November 2002.
DUNELM DRD0193 [2 CDs: 87:59]
Reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Jun03/shost11dunelm.htmhttp://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Jun03/1aJun03-5.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH:
Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op.103, ‘The Year 1905’ [67:27]
London Shostakovich Orchestra: Conductor: Christopher Cox; Leader: Jonathan Lee
Recorded "live" 9 November 2002.
DUNELM DRD0193B [67:27]

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.4 in C minor, Op.43 [63:39]
London Shostakovich Orchestra: Conductor: Christopher Cox; Leader: Louise Lee
Recorded "live" 8 November 2003
DUNELM DRD0216B [63:39]
Review:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Jun04/Shostakovich4_Dunelm.htm

SHOSTAKOVICH
Concerto for cello and orchestra No.1 in E flat, Op.107 [28:46]
Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47 [55:33]
Jonathan Ayling (cello)
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 15 May 2004
DUNELM DRD0227 [2 CDs: 84:19]
Review:

BBC Music Magazine, November, 2004, 13, Number 3, p.63

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47 [55:33]
London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox
Recorded "live" 15 May 2004
DUNELM DRD0227B [55:33]
PRICES:
Single CDs: £10.95 (inclusive of postage and packing in the UK)
Dual sets of 2 CDs: £16.95 (inclusive of postage and packing in the UK)



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