Related Reviews
Hi Fi Choice
4 Stars
...a compelling, dramatic affair.
more >>
Atlanta Audio Society
a beautifully paced account
more >>
The Gramophone
exceptionally well produced and presented
more >>
Shostakovich Journal
contains genuine flashes of inspiration
more >>
Fanfare
Easily recommendable
more >>
The Daily Express
5 Stars
a thrilling and powerful piece of music
more >>
Classic FM Magazine
4 Stars
the big climaxes really explode
more >>
The Times
5 Stars
sweat-drenched ferocity and heart-tugging pathos
more >>
ClassicsToday.com
5 Stars
A "demonstration disc" if ever there were one
more >>
Sunday Telegraph
The performance under Alexander Lazarev is magnificent
more >>
The Glasgow Herald
This is a must-have
more >>
The Observer
[an] exemplary performance of a towering work
more >>
The Scotsman
has all the immediacy and impact of a live performance
more >>

Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - BBC Music Magazine


01 September 2005
BBC Music Magazine
David Nice
4 Stars

A conductor can make great music out of Shostakovich's Eleventh, that cinemascopic parade of revolutionary songs clustered around the Palace Square massacre of 1905, but only by applying the stamp of inspired creativity. Mstislav Rostropovich achieved it with the LSO (reviewed October 2002), and you only have to compare that performance with this latest in the frozen wastes of the opening. Rostropovich creates instant atmosphere and expectation at a much slower tempo than Shostakovich suggests; with Lazarev's RSNO strings, it's a question of notes, not mood - and no amount of extra SACD ambience is really going to change that. The surprisingly beautiful revolutionary anthem ‘You fell as a victim' which overshadows the slow movement finds the LSO violas singing their melody with infinite care. In Lazarev'd hands it couldn't be more matter of fact. As in the first movement, the difference of five minutes between performances works in Rostropovich's favour. Lazarev does create something radical out of the Adagio's hammering climax, even more cataclysmic than the preceding massacre scene. And again in the finale we have another awesome demonstration of the RSNO's brassy might at full pelt. The truthful Usher Hall sound justifies this wide-screen symphony as the best representative of Lazarev's Shostakovich cycle. But ultimately his three-star performance can only make this appear a two-star symphony, rather than five-star work Rostropovich makes of it.  


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Royal Scottish National OrchestraRoyal Scottish National Orchestra
Shostakovich Symphony No. 11Shostakovich Symphony No. 11