There have been many famous recordings of Shostakovich's brilliant 8th, a perfect example being the unrepeatable première by the magnificent Mravinsky, but this similarly pioneering account by Artur Rodzinski blazed the trail in the United States for this great symphony.
The New York Philharmonic rise to occasion superbly and provide playing of the very highest class for Rodzinski, especially in the searing First Movement where the first transition from Adagio to Allegro is quite superbly handled. The Largo is also imbued with a heavy weightiness which adds to the gravitas of the piece whilst the Finale fairly leaps out of the pages.
The 1944 recording has come up quite marvelously with firm body and depth of tone whilst the notes by Robert Matthew Walker make for enticing reading. Another fine document from the ever enterprising and always diverse Swiss label.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech