Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - Fanfare

Lazarev elicits top-notch playing from his band - precise, crisply delineated rhythms throughout and consistently satisfying ensemble blend and balances. There's some great solo work as well; for example, the tenderly played English horn passage towards the end of the Finale. The opening of the first movement is eerily atmospheric, with a great sense of expectancy, and "The Ninth of January" is effectively stage-managed to depict the situation outside the Winter Palace on that day in 1905, as it spiraled out of control to its disastrous conclusion. Linn's 5.1 multichannel program offers an open and airy presentation of the orchestra...there's excellent front-to-back layering and the stereo SACD version maintains a surprising amount of this spaciousness. Easily recommendable to both SACD-acquiring audiophiles and plain old devotees of the Shostakovich symphonic canon.

04 July 2005