A powerful Tenth from the Soviet era
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm becoming incoreasingly convinced that Fedoseyev is one of the most interesting and emotionally convincing Soviet conductors. Karajan more or less swept the field with both his recordings of the Shostakovich 10th, powered by the virtuosity of the Berlin Phil. and his own ability to create imposing grandeur. Now we have an equally powerful version from Fedoseyev in 1987, selling cheaply at Amazon Marketplace. The sonics are clear and natural, only slightly muffled by virtue of cutting out too much treble, perhaps. The recording succeeds in catching those Soviet snarling trumpets and sweeping string lines. Although often overlooked among Russian conductors, Fedoseyev knows what he's about as much as Gergiev and Temirkanov. I was enthusiastic about his Shostakovich 8th and even more so this release.
The heart of the Tenth is the long opening movement, here given tremendous weight, followed by the bitterly satirical Scherzo that is supposed to be a portrait of Stalin. But performances rise or fall in the last half of the symphony, which is coniserably more problematic, tending towards serious anticlimax. Fedoseyev handles the tip-toeing themes and noodling counterpoint wth more dramatic assurance than anyone else, including Karajan, Haitink, Stokowski (in a live reading on the Philadelphia Orch.'s house label), and Jansons. Everything sounds right, including the woozy Russian horn sound, and real climaxes are built from slender beginnings.
In all, a grave, powerful account from a true master of Shostakovich's idiom."