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Soldat

Soldat

1 Mar 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD plugs a gap in the catalogue as there are no really satisfactory recent recordings in modern sound of the visceral Symphony in Three Movements. The performance here really gets to grips with the key elements of violence, sudden changes in mood and orchestration which can range from aggressively loud with a strident bass to a transparent delicate almost chamber quality.

The first movement is sweeping and grand with an irresistible forward momentum and I think Maazel's opening bars get inside the scenes of warfare and organised brutality the exiled composer witnessed on newsreels in the 1940s, that were playing on Stravinsky's mind and we're a creative stimulus for this War Symphony. This gives a lumpy random feel to the opening bars, but the superb consistent German players soon settle down to a more customary smoothness in the rest of the movement. You indeed feel at the end with the sustained note on the strings the relief of a threatening aggressive mass disappearing over the horizon to wreak death and disaster on someone else. It is the musical equivalent of Blitzkrieg and though the sheer power is less than that in the benchmark Everest/Goossens record, it nonetheless conveys adequately the machine like intensity of war under the "New Barbarism" as one historian has described much of the last century.
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