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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 15 / Wigglesworth, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

Shostakovich
Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1643   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Wigglesworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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This release completes Mark Wigglesworth’s generally excellent Shostakovich cycle. It’s a pity that another coupling for the Fifteenth Symphony could not have been found, since the First already has appeared alongside the Second and Third. On the other hand, no one especially cares about the Second and Third, so having Shostakovich’s first symphonic essay hitched to his last isn’t a bad idea, even if collectors acquiring this cycle one disc at a time may be annoyed. Presumably when the inevitable boxed set gets released, this will all be sorted out.

As mentioned in my review of the First Symphony, it’s a
Read more performance that gets better as it goes. The first movement, crisp and clear though it undoubtedly is, lacks that element of exaggerated humor that it ideally needs—it’s a function perhaps of less than characterful woodwind solos combined with a slightly low-level recording. The scherzo, swift and pointed, also could do with more devilry, but the Lento movement and finale remain impressive on re-hearing.

The Fifteenth Symphony features an interesting interpretation, deliberate and deadly serious even in the lighter moments, rather like Sanderling’s for those of you who know it. Its opening movement is on the slow side, but still clearly Allegretto. The big climaxes in the Adagio and the Finale are tremendous: grinding and terrifying, and powerfully sustained, while the Scherzo sounds as hollow and spooky as any on disc. As with the First Symphony, the dynamic range on this SACD is almost too wide: the soft bits are exceptionally quiet, while the climaxes risk antagonizing your neighbors. Nevertheless, the performance makes an imposing conclusion to a cycle that, quietly and without much fanfare, ranks among the best.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 15 in A major, Op. 141 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Wigglesworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; USSR 
2.
Symphony no 1 in F minor, Op. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Wigglesworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1925; USSR 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10: I. Allegretto - Allegro non troppo
Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10: II. Allegro
Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10: III. Lento
Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10: IV. Allegro molto
Symphony No. 15 in A Major, Op. 141: I. Allegretto
Symphony No. 15 in A Major, Op. 141: II. Adagio
Symphony No. 15 in A Major, Op. 141: III. Allegretto
Symphony No. 15 in A Major, Op. 141: IV. Adagio

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