Monday, December 24, 2012

Barshai, WDR Symphony Orchestra
"Shostakovich: Symphony no. 9" (CD)

At the time, this was the only reasonably affordable box set of Shostakovich's complete symphonies. In the years since I bought this other sets have come onto the market including Bernard Haitnik and the Concertgebouw.  I still know almost nothing about this orchestra.  The conductor is actually known to me as the violist of the Borodin String Quartet which had the distinction of giving the premiere of several of Shostakovich's string quartets.

The performance captured on this album isn't the tightest, most polished performance, but I suppose we should take solace in the fact that a Russian conductor with a first-hand relationship with the composer would have some insights into the music's performance.

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