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Eleven 11s
9. What Others Have Said
by David Barker

What others have said
Throughout, I have deliberately avoided referring to the opinions of other reviewers because this has been a personal survey, focussing on how the eleven recordings affected me. However, I think that it is appropriate to include the views of others by way of comparison. I am not holding my opinions up as being right, but nor do I say that those of others are more valid than mine, just different.

He scores with his superb control over a very slow (but triumphantly justified) tempo in the first movement … I liked also the stricken close to the second movement, the sobriety and quietness of his third and the hint of a goose-step that he allows in that brutal finale.
Michael Oliver, Gramophone

Berglund unravels the Eleventh's epic canvas with a keen ear for dramatic flair and beguiling detail. The engineering packs quite a wallop, with pulverizing brass and percussion, and the Bournemouth musicians play as if there were no tomorrow.
Jed Distler, Classics Today

There is though much to admire in Caetani’s conducting … memorable features here, just as there are in Lazarev’s recent Linn recording, but neither of them quite holds the attention or burrow as deeply as Kondrashin or Rostropovich.
Colin Anderson, Fanfare

Although the overall impression is of vivid, committed music-making that will stand repeated listening at home as well as eliciting enthusiastic applause in the hall, the interpretation offers neither Rostropovich’s gravitas nor Stokowski’s warmth.
David Gutman, Gramophone

A creditable rather than brilliant recording, then.
Gwyn Parry-Jones, Musicweb International

If you love this symphony, you'll surely want this recording.
David Hurwitz, Classics Today

Haitink and his forces are blessed with some of the most spectacular orchestral sound I have ever heard on recording. Seriously, folks, I just don't know how much better than this it can get.
Royal S Brown, Fanfare

In a word, there are a few recorded performances of either symphony to match these, and none to surpass them in grandeur of sound.
Michael Oliver, Gramophone

There are deeper levels in this music that Haitink never even approaches, let alone penetrates
Victor Carr, Classics Today

I am ultimately unconvinced by his reading. It’s as if he’s conflicted and still not fully decided on what Shostakovich intended. The result, to my ear, is that of a work in progress.
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare

I recommend it accordingly, and look forward to the continuation of the cycle.
David Hurwitz, Classics Today

With the Liverpool Phil on top form, responding to every one of Petrenko’s demands, it is a resounding success.
Bob Briggs, Musicweb International

No want of character, attack or rhythmic definition.
David Gutman, Gramophone

Easily recommendable.
Andrew Quint, Fanfare

A "demonstration disc" if ever there were one. Buy it, and drive your neighbors crazy.
David Hurwitz, Classics Today

In sum, this is what would once have been called a demonstration disc, exceptionally well produced and presented.
David Gutman, Gramophone

Lazarev and the RSNO stand up as worthy members of what is becoming a more crowded assemblage of compelling recorded performances.
Terry Barfoot, Musicweb International

It is certainly the finest recording of the modern era.
Marc Bridle, Musicweb International

Suffice to say this LSO Live release does little to enhance Rostropovich's reputation and demonstrates the virtue of leaving well enough alone.
Victor Carr, Classics Today

I like the risks Rostropovich takes here. If you're looking for an 11th, why not think big?
Art Lange, Fanfare

Rostropovich pulls tempos around with little feeling for the music’s structure. I know this is a difficult symphony to pull off, but-geez, Louise-there’s no excuse for the mess it has become here.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

Another triumph; Barshai redeems this symphony by reaching beyond the surface cinematography to find the tragic grandeur just beneath.
Victor Carr, Classics Today

Barshai seems engaged only by the third movement.
Christopher Howell, Musicweb International

From the very rounded muted trumpet sounds near the start to the huge clangs on the bells at the end this performance did greatly impress.
Dave Billinge, Musicweb International

Barshai also compels us to look behind the gaudy curtain (almost certainly erected entirely on purpose by the composer), to see this work in its true colours: as a "proper" symphony.
Paul Serotsky, Musicweb International

What Others Have Said



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