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Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - Shostakovich Journal


23 July 2005
Shostakovich Journal
Louis Blois

The RSNO are in top form. Lazarev turns in a performance that benefits from state of the art sound reproduction, here released in hybrid CD and SACD format. Note the spacious ambiance of the opening movement, the crisp registration of timpani and harp, the sumptuously ominous gong strokes, the presence of the various wind and brass solos. One of the finest moments on the disc takes place toward the end of the [final] movement when, in a moment of unexpected sensitivity, Lazarev stills the tempo for the beautifully and expansively rendered English horn solo. The gong strokes that follow are powerfully resonant, though I wish that the bass clarinet's keynote solo hadn't been obscured. In the rousing finale, the chimes ring out with gratifying clarity, where they do not in many other recordings. To the purists delight they do not resonate past the final bar. This is a forceful Eleventh that here and there contains genuine flashes of inspiration.
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