"I've highly enjoyed this brilliant collection of Shostakovich. Recommended to every music lover!"
Good performances of (very) minor works
G.D. | Norway | 02/09/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, the music here doesn't (apart from some intriguing touches) sound very much like Shostakovich. Nor does it sound very much like jazz either - one would be excused for suspecting that that Shostakovich's access to jazz music might have been rather limited, and the music here certainly suggests so. In short, this is a rather curious disc of light music, but a mildly enjoyable one nonetheless.
The first Jazz suite is a minor work. There are some nice tunes there, but it is seriously short on genuine inspiration and displays none of the wit of some of Shostakovich's other work in the light genre (and virtually no jazz influence either, as already mentioned). Now, the so-called Jazz suite no. 2 isn't really Jazz suite no. 2 either (that one was lost during WWII), but really the Suite no. 1 for Variety Stage Orchestra. The booklet lays out the story behind it, but the title is still misleading. It was composed in the 1930s, or rather compiled from his film-score tunes and is a slight work in all respects - even though it too sports some nice, hummable tunes - obviously written with no other inspiration than the impending payment. The orchestration of Youmans's Tea for Two, Tahiti Trot, adds a modicum of dark wit, but isn't anything one would want to hear more than once.
The music for the ballet The Bolt is in another league altogether. Yes, it is also "light music" (but there is a serious, dark undercurrent to it), and several of the numbers are based on popular music styles, but this drunkenly boisterous and sometimes razor sharp music leaves a strong impression and is by far the best work on the disc.
The Russian State SO under Yablonsky plays well, and adds swagger and wit to the music. Sound quality is clear and sufficiently spacious (critics might claim it is a little too close). Unfortunately, in the Bolt these players are in the end really no match for Järvi on DG. As for the rest, well, this constitutes a mildly interesting and enjoyable disc, one that deserves to be heard once. But it is far from any mandatory purchase"
Better than we even expected!
S. Tedesco | Castro Valley, CA USA | 08/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We heard this music played on a Sprint Ad on television and hunted it down. We found the entire recording to be a delight!"
The Jazz Album. Shostakovich. Royal Concertgebow Orch.
Robert Field | Melbourne, Australia. | 12/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A truly excellent CD from the performance and recording quality point of view. Friends who have heard it agree."