Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dmitri Shostakovich, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Halle Orchestra|
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor; Symphony No. 10 in E Minor
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First-rate Shostakovich from the Hallé
Kostas A. Lavdas | Boston, MA USA | 03/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Despite ups and downs, the Hallé was and remains one of Britain's premier ensembles. Re-issued in the orchestra's own label, these 1990 recordings under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski represent superb interpretations of Shostakovitch's Fifth and Tenth symphonies. The Tenth, famously conceived as an anti-Stalin celebration, albeit a solemn and somewhat ambiguous one at that, presents the interpreters with a number of puzzles. One can only compare Skrowaczewski's recording to the very best: Karajan's strong, objective account with the Berlin Philharmonic (DG) and Sanderling's heartfelt reading with the Orchestre National de France (Valois). Even so, this is a top choice with a coupling second to none: the emblematic Fifth. Here, again, despite fierce competition (from the likes of Maazel, Bernstein, Gergiev, and Haitink) Hallé's new Fifth (there's also the celebrated Barbirolli recording from the 1960s on BBC Legends) is another example of a great Shostakovich interpretation.
Perhaps the strings are not always peerless, but overall this is a wonderfully played account and the sound is first-rate. From the elegiac closing of the Fifth's first movement to the sharp satirical illustration of party apparatchiks in the Tenth, Skrowaczewski is simply unsurpassed as he finds his way through the ambiguity which is inherent in these works. These are clearly among the most impressive recordings produced by the Hallé since Barbirolli's glorious days in Manchester.