To mark the centenary of the great 20th century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, Arts are releasing a specially priced boxed set of the critically acclaimed complete symphony cycle, recently recorded by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi under the conductor Oleg Caetani.
This second release in the Melbourne Symphony’s invaluable perusal of the nine symphonies by the deeply cosmopolitan Franco-Pole Alexandre Tansman (1897–1986) demonstrates conclusively that in his postwar years he became an essential member of the second European modernist generation. Impressive as are the three middle symphonies (Nos. 4, 5, and 6) already available on Chandos, this program shows Tansman gathering together all of the vital and ingratiating traits he had perfected during the 1920s and 1930s into a confident and compelling idiom capable of conveying major statements.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has an outstanding reputation for presenting twentieth-century music and for rediscovering neglected composers something wonderfully demonstrated by this new recording and follows the recently critically applauded recording of Stephan orchestral works.
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 and 9 powers onto the Blu-ray format with an excellent 7.1 mix encoded with the DTS-HD Master Audio codec at a 24/96khz bit and sample rate. This recording is powerful, subtle, exquisite, and rancorous. The violins and lower strings are vivid sweet and airy, woodwinds light and colorful, brass big and powerful, and trumpets blow through the air with power and authority. The sonic picture features a wide arc of musicians situated in an unusual fashion…