3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A fine disc,
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This review is from: Shostakovich: The Execution Of Stepan Razin [Vladimir Ashkenazy] [Ondine: ODE 1225-2] (Audio CD)
There's some recordings available of Shostakovich' Stepan Razin and some of them are very fine indeed. Gerard Schwarz reading on Naxos comes to mind. This one from Ondine is special because it present a Chinese bass-baritone, named Shenyang, who recently won a competition or two. I can't give any idea if his Russian is Russian, but the singing is very good. I've always been impressed by Ashkenazy's recordings of Russian repertoire and still like to think back in time when he conducted Rachmaninov over here in the Concertgebouw. He manages this rather unknown and underrated Stepan very well and takes a brisk tempo which suits the work well. The recording is very good, the rattle of percussion very well executed and the timps really sound like timps. Zoya is all patriotism plus socialist realism. A heroine, a march, a tear jerker and a concluding up tempo rousing theme. Just a way to earn the money was what Dmitri was thinking, I think. The Suite on Finnish Themes is all folkloristic nostalgia and even as a Dutchman I recognized the Finnish folk tunes. Probably they're more or less pan-European? Very well done Ondine!