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CD Review

Shostakovich & Tormis

Orchestral Works

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi
Telarc CD-80702 68m DDD
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Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony is among the most difficult to bring off and ever since its première by the legendary Kirill Kondrashin, that conductor's recording has always been the one to beat. Paavo Järvi already has a number of excellent recordings under his belt and this one is no exception.

The Moderato starts off mysteriously enough with the Cincinnati strings creating just the right type of ambience, quite comparable to Karajan's famous account (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/DG). The movement flows along quite without incident and its conclusion is suitably apocalyptic. The short Allegro is as brutal as one would expect whilst the Allegretto returns to the pensive aura of the Moderato. Järvi holds the music together extremely well in the Finale which wraps up the work nicely enough.

Tormis' Overture No 2 is a delightful work and its fellow Estonian brings out its myriad qualities in a reading of sure fire brilliance. As expected from Telarc, the sound is of top drawer quality with the DSD mastering producing first rate sonics. Detailed notes on both works make this CD a most desirable issue.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech