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Eleven 11s
2. The Choice
by David Barker


The Eleven
Knowing that I couldn’t provide a totally comprehensive survey, I chose to review eleven recordings for the obvious gimmick. In fact, I had access to sixteen recordings, so had to make a decision about which ones to keep.

Before beginning this article, I owned and had heard only three: Haitink, Caetani and the London Rostropovich. I ordered the famous Stokowski, downloaded the Lazarev and borrowed the Berglund, Barshai and Rozhdetvensky from friends. The remainder were accessible online through my subscription to the Naxos Music Library.

Ten of the eleven chose themselves, on the basis of historical importance and/or critical acclaim. Of the remaining six, two were second recordings by a conductor already selected (DePreist/Oregon, Caetani/Melbourne) and a third was considered very mediocre (an early Naxos recording). This left three - Kitajenko (Capriccio), Bychov (Avie) and Pletnev (Pentatone) and after auditioning each, I chose the former, a selection which will probably surprise you.

So the “first XI” is (in order of recording date):

Houston SO/Leopold Stokowski
rec. 1958
EMI 5652062
Bournemouth SO/Paavo Berglund
rec. 1974
EMI 7477902
USSR Ministry of Culture SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky
rec. 1983
Olympia OCD152
Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink
rec. 1983
Decca 4444302 (boxset)
Helsinki PO/James DePreist
rec. 1988
Delos DE3380
West Deutsche RSO/Rudolf Barshai
rec. 1999
Brilliant Classics 6324-7
London SO/Mstislav Rostropovich
rec. 2002
LSO Live LSO0030
Cologne Gürzenich O/Dmitri Kitajenko
rec. 2004
Capriccio C71036
Royal Scottish Ntl O/Alexander Lazarev
rec. 2004
Linn CKD247
Milano Giuseppe Verdi SO/Oleg Caetani
rec. 2005
Arts 476768
Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko
rec. 2008
Naxos 8.572082

A listing of all recordings (excluding the most recent Naxos/Petrenko) is available here.

There is a full listing of all reviews of the symphony on Musicweb is available here.

The Choice

 

 


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