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Ravel, Shostakovich - Arrangements / Scottish Ensemble

Release Date: 01/01/2003 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 215   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Maurice RavelDmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Clio Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has been curious as to how the Ravel quartet would sound as played by a string orchestra, particularly its finale, which really cries out for more volume and weight of tone than a mere four players can provide. Thanks to Rudolf Barshai we have the chance to give it a whirl, and thanks to the Scottish Ensemble and Clio Gould, we can say with complete certainty that it sounds fantastic. This crack chamber orchestra phrases with a unanimity that's very impressive indeed. Gently intimate moments such as the second subject of the first movement retain their chamber-music character, while the rhythmically tricky exchanges in the scintillating scherzo never sound overloaded or clumsy. Best of all, the finale Read more really rips and benefits tremendously from the extra amplitude and bite of the larger ensemble.

The same virtues characterize this performance of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 10, which benefits from the group's ferocity of attack in the second-movement Allegretto furioso as well as from the brittle precision of the finale. Indeed, this performance rivals Barshai's own, formerly on DG, despite the smaller number of players and slightly cooler overall emotional ambiance in the two slow movements. The excellence of the sonics matches that of the performances: clear as a bell, naturally in perspective, and in multi-channel format nicely three-dimensional with no loss of impact or excessive rear-channel emphasis. For a fine combination of terrific engineering, interesting repertoire, and smashing playing, this disc is pretty impressive. Only the comparatively short playing time (53 minutes) might give some listeners pause, and though Clio Gould is undoubtedly a babe, surely a more apt cover could have been found? Never mind--a very enjoyable disc.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings in F major by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Clio Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1903; France 
Venue:  City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 28 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Rudolf Barshai.
City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland (12/16/2002 - 12/18/2002) 
Chamber Symphony in A flat major, Op. 118a by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Clio Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USSR 
Venue:  City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 24 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland (12/16/2002 - 12/18/2002)
This work is Rudolf Barshai's 1964 arrangement of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 10. 

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