Related Reviews
American Record Guide
'The sound on both of these discs is just superb.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
'A fine recording.'
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The playing is fresh and enthusiastic, the recording bright and true..
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus
This ensemble of young musicians represent the cream of talent for the future...
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The Daily Telegraph
'Classical CD of the Week': 'An intense recording.'
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Northern Echo
5 Stars
The Concerto for Trumpet and Strings is tongue in cheek vitality Sophia Rahman and John Wallace bring off brilliantly.
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The Times
' would be difficult to think of an ensemble better suited to Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony...'
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Inverness Courier
an electrifying and intensely moving performance...
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Christchurch New Zealand
4 Stars
The performances are excellent.
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Yorkshire Post
4 Stars
they here generate apowerful performance of the Chamber Symphony...
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The Observer
delivered with grace and elegance by the ensemble...
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Shostakovich - Scottish Ensemble - The Strad

01 July 2000
The Strad
Robin Stowell

Rudolf Barshai's skilful arrangement for string orchestra of Shostakovich's Eigth Quartet is extremely well served by Clio Gould's talented small ensemble. Assisted by a real and vivid recording, these players communicate the composer's horror of war with appropriate dramatic intensity, particularly in the turbulent second movement. The ensuing waltz-like Allegretto is neatly injected with all the requisite lilt, rythmic detail and acerbity, and the working out of the DSCH motif and the composer's various self-quotations are given due significance, most notably in the greif-stricken final Largo. The quality of the string playing throughout is outstanding: admirably expressive, fearlessly virtuosic and surprisingly full-toned.

Such standards are maintained in the Two Pieces for string octet op. 11, whose Prelude's mixed emotions are convincingly delineated and whose Scherzo is dispatched with a feverish and sometimes frenzied brilliance. And the players accompany with alertness and vitality in a fresh, enjoyable account of Shostakovich's exuberant First Piano Concerto for piano, trumpet and strings, with Sophia Rahman and John Wallace as the highly accomplished soloists.

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Related Links

Scottish EnsembleScottish Ensemble
Shostakovich: Chamber SymphonyShostakovich: Chamber Symphony