Ancerl was a great conductor of neoclassical Stravinsky - one of the few who could match or surpass Stravinsky himself. His Symphony of Psalms and Oedipus Rex are both good first choices for these works. And here, on this CD, is another. Schneiderhan is, when you come to think of it, an ideal choice for the work and his beautiful playing and restraint meet Ancerl's talent for bringing out detail and using it to ensure flow and drive (as appropriate). The two are equal collaborators, coming together in a chamber music like way. The catch all the moods - the singing beauty in the Aria, the baroque-like rhythmic sparring, the weird austere modernism - wonderfully and integrate them into a compelling whole.
The Shostakovich 10 is also a powerful and memorable performance. Again Ancerl finds and sculpts detail to build tension and power. There are many special moments - the whirlwind Allegro, the building tension of the opening, the bleak Andante at the start of the fourth movement - and you could sample the account at almost any point and be bowled over by just how special Ancerl's way with the piece is. But, to my ears, Ancerl does not achieve greatness here. The performance does not hold together as it should. This is most noticeable in the great first movement where Ancerl does some wonderful things but peaks too early and leaves us with some fairly boring pages in the last third of the movement. This is a really memorable performance of a type we don't hear these days - indeed, it is a classic - but it is far from the best Shostakovich 10 out there.
At the moment the only affordable option for buying this is the download and that is a real bargain at £5.49.