3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Beethoven Orchester Bonn (Audio CD)
For such a famous and well-recorded symphony, to identify the best recording is by no means an easy task - there are so many very fine accounts by the Cologne Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic etc...and yet we have this stunning account from a rather unlikely source - the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn, directed by Roman Kofman. I do not claim that every recording in their complete Shostakovich is of equal standing, but there is some extraordinary playing here.
The Penguin Guide in particular seems to love this recording, describing it as "sweeping the board". Apart from the complete and utter precision and accuracy, what really drew me to this recording was the sense of intense passion and drive without turning into the tragic cliché of the composer's sad existence. The Penguin guide describes this as "a satisfying combination of passion and irony..."
This recording was made using a hybrid multi-channel system, and therefore to gain full benefit from this recording one should possess a good-quality SACD player. However, even on a modest two-speaker system the orchestra's drive and power are easily felt - in particular, the brass benefit from such superb recording quality.
The presentation and programme notes are excellent, providing full biographies of the conductor and orchestra, and a brilliant, if brief, history of the symphony itself.
Overall, I recording without compare and an absolute joy to listen to - you will never hear Shostakovich played as well as it is here.