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SACD Review

Dmitri Shostakovich

Symphony #13 in B Flat minor "Babi Yar", Op. 113 (1962)

Arts SACD 47708-8
Pavel Kudinov, bass
Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Oleg Caetani
Arts 47708-8 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 56m
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe
MD&G SACD 9371205-6
Taras Shtonda, bass
Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno
Beethoven Orchestra Bonn/Roman Kofman
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9371205-6 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 62m
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Also released on CD MDG3371205
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe

As the Shostakovich centenary year continues apace, we have a glut of symphonic recordings with CDs arriving almost weekly, as is the case with these two "Babi Yar's" from ongoing cycles by MD&G and Arts, two German labels.

Both are SACDs but MD&G's sound is slightly on the clearer side although Kofman is somewhat too lethargic in the opening movement which is over two minutes slower than Caetani. Humour bites with aggression in both interpretations whilst the whimsical 'At the Store' comes out rather more stoical in Kofmann's interpretation with the Bonn players slightly besting those in Milan.

The symphony hinges on the final 'Career' movement and here, the stark beauty of Caetani's live recording adds that extra tension when compared to Kofamnn's which is slightly earthbound. However, both releases are welcome additions to the catalogue, with copious notes and wonderfully recorded all round.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet