Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
This isn't the kind of juggernaut performance that most listeners probably have in mind when thinking of this brash work. Mark Wigglesworth's tempos are a few minutes slower in the outer movements than those performances, but he has a very real and admirable ability to emphasize detail and rhythmic precision without sacrificing the necessary power. In the first movement's crazy fugue, for example, even though you might wish he had made a bit less of a diminuendo after the entrance of the galloping rhythm in strings and percussion, the very clarity of texture means that the music loses very little in the way of excitement, and it gains a
melodic interest you might never suspect that it has.
Similarly, the climactic chorale in the finale never has been done better, and for once you can actually hear the timpani ostinato that gets it going. It's a real rhythm, and not just the usually muddy rumble in the depths of the orchestra. Wigglesworth also handles the preceding ballet suite with memorable charm, grace, and humor, and he carries his players along with him every step of the way. The result is an interpretation that gives the music a very different character from most of the other slowish versions (Haitink's for example). The sonics are very natural and well-balanced, but also a bit low level (this is more pronounced in multi-channel format). You really need to crank up the volume to capture the climaxes, but if your system can handle it, you're going to love this.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 43 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1935-1936; USSR
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