Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




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

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

BUY NOW 

AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 7 in C, Op. 60, Leningrad (1941) [71'12]
Russian Federal Orchestra/Vakhtang Jordania
rec. Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Moscow, January 2003. DDD.

ANGELOK1 CD-9915
[71'12]

 

 

Given the profusion of Sevenths available, it is difficult to see how this one justifies its place. Georgian conductor Vakhtang Jordania - whose major achievement seems to have been to conduct the North American premiere of Rusalka - is a confident guide through this score, but hardly a revelatory one. Neither is the recording top-flight. Climaxes lack the depth they so desperately need. Generally aggressive, there is an edge to the strings that very possibly exaggerates their already harsh timbre.

The opening sets the pace – literally. Brisk is hardly the word for this, and brisk turns out to be relentless, too. Surely there should be some relaxation around the two-minute mark. Overall, this first movement is superficial, although space should be made for mention of the famous crescendo, here riotous and pure bombast. Brass, however, are not as forceful as some; Gergiev's Rotterdam Philips recording shows how it should be done - 470 845-2.

Basically there is a lack of involvement here that sits very uncomfortably. The second movement's shadowy dances are hardly mysterious - credit to a good clarinettist, though. It is perhaps a measure of the care that went into the preparation of this recording that the chorale-chords that open the third movement are sloppily balanced. Strings need more body, but I remain convinced they had more at the time and the fault here lies in the recording. One really needs to search for Shostakovich's hints at dance; again, the involvement factor is low in the fourth movement, which should include moments of mania - they would appear around five minutes into the movement). Recording balance over-favours the trumpets, and while the orchestra enjoys itself - and it includes some fine woodwind soloists - this finale is far too long, due to Jordania's aimless conducting. The passage around 15'40 on the strings can only be described as scrawny.

Notes are brief – the 'booklet' is one folded piece of card. They are as disappointing as the performance and recording.

Colin Clarke

 

 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

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.