Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Deutsch, Halfvarson, Rodescu|
Shostakovich: Symphony No.15, Rayok
R. Kunath | Illinois, USA | 09/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the great performances of Shostakovich's last symphony. Kurt Sanderling (not Stefan, who is his son) brings a depth of understanding to this music that is far more than just musical: Sanderling lived behind the Iron Curtain, and he knew Shostakovich and the grim realities of Communist rule. The Cleveland Orchestra plays with extraordinary virtuosity and feeling under his direction, and I know of no performance that so powerfully conveys the haunted, eerie strangeness of this music. Sanderling's style may initially seem plain: he plays "straight" even the apparent joke in the first movement when the gallop from Rossini's "William Tell" Overture suddenly appears. But Sanderling's refusal to underline the joke enables the familiar music (as I think Shostakovich intended) to sound unsettlingly alien. Sanderling's control over the symphony is unerring, I think, and never in a recording have the last minutes of the finale been realized so perfectly: as you listen to the quiet sustained chord in the strings and the tick-tock of the percussion, you'll find your muscles tense and your pulse racing. It's some of the strangest, eeriest, music ever written, and the combination of Sanderling and the Cleveland Orchestra is a perfect match to convey the power and stature of the music. Get this before it disappears--it's one of the great Shostakovich recordings in history."
Not the Best Sanderling
Starry Vere | Silver Lake OH USA | 02/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kurt Sanderling definitely was The Man when it came to Shostakovich's evanescent and enigmatic valedictory Symphony. It would seem that other than a few of the early Russian interpreters (most notably Kondrashin) he was the only conductor to make real sense of its odd twists and turns, the dark stillnesses and bombastic outbursts.
He recorded a great version of it with his own scrappy Berlin Symphony, whose somewhat rough execution made one wonder what he could do with a better orchestra. This seeming dream matchup with Cleveland, however, is a disappointment. It is as if Sanderling took some of the more daring aspects of his reading and pushed them a bit too far. The ending, for example, is now so slow that it flatlines.
Amazingly, a live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic has just been released on their own Berliner Philharmoniker label and it combines the virtues of the other two recordings, a great reading with a great orchestra in very good sound. Unfortunately, at least for now, you can only get it as an import, but it is quite a remarkable document. Otherwise, I would recommend the Berlin Symphony recording on Berlin Classics. They may be a second rate orchestra but it is a world class interpretation."