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SACD Review

Dmitri Shostakovich

MD&G SACD 9371210-6

Symphonies, Volume 10

  • Symphony #3 "The First of May", Op. 20
  • Symphony #15, Op. 141
Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno
Beethoven Orchestra Bonn/Roman Kofman
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9371210-6 75m Hybrid Multichannel SACD
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Also released on CD MDG3371210-2:
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This is the penultimate release in Roman Kofman's excellent Shostakovich symphony cycle on MD&G, pairing two strange bedfellows, the enigmatic and mysterious 15th with the bombastic and slightly hollow sounding third, written almost 50 years apart.

Kofman conducts a deeply pensive account of the Fifteenth with a long drawn Adagio, quite similar to Bernard Haitink's classic account on Decca. MD&G's sound is superb so one can easily observe the various melodic hints that Shostakovich drops into the work. The Finale is particularly enticing with some superb work by the Bonn strings.

The Third is as effusive and bombastic as one can expect and is given a reasonable turn out here. At times, Kofman's pace is slightly slack but on the whole, the work is cogently held together and the choral and orchestral sounds merge very well together.

As usual, MD&G's recording is superb and the extensive notes make for interesting reading. One now awaits the final instalment in this excellent cycle (#14) to make a comprehensive re-appraisal of the symphonies as a whole.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech

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