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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Excellent Shostakovich Compilation.., 23 April 2011
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9; Festive Overture; Suite from Katerina Ismailova; Tea for Two (Audio CD)
Shostakovich's 9th Symphony is very much underrated. In fact, most record companies when trying to market his 9th Symphony, usually combine it with other more well-known Shostakovich Symphonies like the 5th, or other shorter pieces, like Chandos have done here, with Shostakovich's powerful Festive Overture, the Suite from Katerina Ismailova and his catchy arrangement of Tea for Two. But at least Chandos have featured the 9th Synphony as the main work on this cd, and rightly so, because I think this is a fine Symphony from Shostakovich, recorded here very well by Neeme Jarvi and the Scottish National Orchestra. Of course the 9th Symphony is not like his epic Symphonies like the 7th or 8th and it's certainly a lot shorter in length at 25:10 min.

In the opening Allegro I have always liked the solo trombone part that occures prominently through the first movement accompanied just by light strings and woodwinds.

The Moderato is another high point with the SNO strings shaping the movement in a very sensuous style.

The shortest movement, which is the Presto, leads to a very dramatic trombone and tuba fanfare leading to solo Bassoon and light string backing.

Finally the Allegretto which is the longest movement at 6:55 min starts with strings but builds to a impressive climax with full brass that ends in a abrupt manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling performances in very good sound, 21 Nov 2012
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I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9; Festive Overture; Suite from Katerina Ismailova; Tea for Two (Audio CD)
This recording from 1987 provides sparkling accounts of all four works.

The symphony is the most important work here but its lighter nature got the composer into lots of potentially dangerous trouble as it failed to live up to the authority's expectation of a major work of comparable weight as those other 9ths by Beethoven and Dvorak to name but two. It is, in fact, a totally enjoyable work with plenty to say for itself and rather more than some of the more overtly political works such as symphonies 7 and 12 for instance. In this case the symphony gets a terrific performance which is typical of the high standards achieved interpretively and technically by Jarvi and his Scottish orchestra at that time. It is certainly far preferable to that of the same symphony conducted by Jarvi at Lucerne (not with the Festival Orchestra) and now available on a rather mixed quality Blu-ray / DVD.

The Festive Overture is a scintillating show-piece for orchestra and emminently suitable for starting off celebratory concerts. Indeed it already figures in that way on two Blu-ray/DVD concerts now available. This is their equal.

The Tea for Two is an occasional piece of light froth to suggest an analogy which was written in humorous haste by Shostakovich. The Suite from his Lady Macbeth opera is a curious mixture of aggressive and high spirits. Both aspects are well delivered here.

The whole disc is very well played and recorded and the interpretations are among the very best available. If the program appeals this will be well-worth collecting.
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