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SADDLED WITH POOR SOUND
on 6 August 2011
I attended the performances of these symphonies at the Barbican, and they were some of the most thrilling that I have sat through. Gergiev understands the territory well enough, even if he can push, pull, and drive them in a way that distorts much of their carefully woven orchestral texture.
It was a huge disappointment to find, when the recordings were released, that the acoustic, and the recordings themselves, rob the performances of what communicated the most. The Barbican centre is a marginal, flawed venue at the best of times, and it is to the LSO's discredit that, through their own LSO LIVE label, they have saddled themselves with recordings which no where near fulfill their own potential. And here, Phillips engineers do battle, and fail to fill the missing sound world that is so gloriously available in the Chandos Neeme Jarvi set. I cannot recommend this set.