RSNO-Shostakovich-Symphony 11- The Inverness Courier

06 May 2005
The Inverness Courier
The Inverness Courier


After several years as a jobbing orchestra for Naxos, the RSNO - like the Scottish Ensemble and the Scottish Chamber- has found a natural home with Scotland's most enterprising record label and, just in time, is finally recording core repertoire with Alexander Lazarev who is completing his final season as the Orchestra's principal conductor. His recorded legacy will be a memento of his acclaimed Shostakovich season - the Symphonies the RSNO has not already recorded with a previous principal conductor, Neemi Jarvi - a welcome treat for the orchestra's Highland audience who never had the opportunity to hear the partnership play any of the symphonies live. The series gets off to a thrilling start with the vividly programmatic symphony Shostakovich ostensibly wrote to commemorate the massacre or protesting Russian peasants by the Czar's cavalry in St Peterburg in 1905 - but it may have been an allegory for the Russians' suppression of the Hungarian revolt in 1956. The music is tuneful and accessible and the RSNO's performance has the brooding intensity and dynamic energy that have been the hallmarks of Lazarev's tenure. The long, slow introduction is superbly controlled which makes the second movement's eruption into violence all the more shocking and, with the orchestra responding poignantly and powerfully, Lazarev drives the symphony to a thunderous climax.

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