One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

BUY NOW 

AmazonUK

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943)
Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Roman Kofman
Rec. Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, Bad Godesberg, 26-28 Oct 2004. DDD
DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM GOLD MDG337 1204-2 [70'59]

 

 

A mixed account here, that starts promisingly and then fails to live up to that promise. The recording is fine – the percussion-driven climaxes that characterise this work come across well – but one hankers for that bit more, an extra that an SACD incarnation would surely provide.

The Beethoven Orchester Bonn is a fine orchestra, but perhaps not a world-class one. Much of the time there is much evidence of careful rehearsal and a real sense of united effort. Yet it seems the orchestra cannot abandon itself to Shostakovich's large-scale canvas, stuck, frequently, in the moment.

The account begins well, with a shifting sense of unease that is entirely appropriate. The music unfolds ominously and darkly and the strings can carry long, unaccompanied unison lines well. There is even a sense of manic intensity, highlighting the arrival of the distorted march at around 16'40 in the first movement. The famous cor anglais solo is marvellously plaintive, almost like a cry in post-nuclear fallout.

The second movement illustrates this reading’s failings. Fairly incisive, it remains without great internal drive and smoothes over, to a great extent, the grotesque. In fact it is fair to say that there is a certain stiffness – born perhaps of lack of sympathy with this repertoire – that is confirmed in the Allegro non troppo third movement. Not particularly motoric, the major failing is that the punctuating chords sound careful for the microphones. Listen out, though, for the excellent trumpet playing at around 3'50 in.

The fourth movement Passacaglia returns to the feeling of unease that began this symphony, here within an atmosphere that strives towards the peaceful. A shame that the moment of C major arrival at the outset of the finale lacks the requisite luminous qualities. Throughout this movement there is a tangible sense of going through the motions – even the crushing dissonances are only fairly impressive.

A shame, then. A somewhat flowery booklet nevertheless includes all salient information.

Colin Clarke

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.