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Reviews: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 9 - Kreizberg

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Reviews: 8

Site review by Castor April 14, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Site review by Polly Nomial May 7, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by thepilot March 19, 2007 (9 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The sound of this disc will blow you away, this has such an awesome dynamic range that it will drive your system to its limits. And the realism is absolutely stunning. The performance is excellent, not as high voltage as Stokowski or Bernstein, but I have to admit that the musicians of this splendid orchestra play like angels! Must have to all admirers of Shostakovich or to all audiophiles that cherish recordings with great sound

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Review by krisjan April 2, 2007 (9 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

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Review by Windsurfer April 3, 2007 (14 of 16 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
First, I want to call attention to the sound (in multi-channel) of this release:

It is stunning! The strings have body but sound like strings, not some congealed mass of treble - and unfortunately that is not always accomplished, even in SACD - so I find this exceptionally fine! The separation of instruments or maybe the air around instruments shouldn't call attention to itself, but here it does and only because the sound is so extraordinarily lifelike and natural. The dialogs between woodwind and strings in the Fifth symphony really made me sit up and take notice. The trumpets and tuba stand out just like in a concert and the climaxes are H U G E. The sound stage is enormous. This is what I might call premium sound quality.

Matters of interpretation are matters of individual opinion. I found Kreizburg, for the most part, extremely satisfying (or is that the superb sound his orchestra is accorded?) But there were times during the second movement that I thought; "If I had anything to say about it this passage would be a little faster, with a little more dynamic thrust" But my attention was held fast during all of both symphonies. For what little it's worth, I thought the Ninth was somewhat more of a success as a performance than the Fifth. That is not to denigrate the Fifth, which is very good indeed; but rather to tell you how really fine, how engaging the performance of the Ninth is.

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Review by JJ May 27, 2007 (8 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Nouveau volet de l'intégrale des symphonies de Dimitri Chostakovitch entreprise par le label Pentatone. Cette fois c'est Yakov Kreizberg que nous retrouvons à la baguette pour, disons-le d'emblée, une interprétation des symphonies N°5 & 9 de tout premier plan. La cinquième symphonie du compositeur russe fit couler beaucoup d'encre puisqu'elle intervint après le fameux article de la Pravda plongeant alors sa vie dans une sécurité des plus précaires. Datant de 1937, la composition de l'œuvre ne prit que trois mois et lorsque Prokofiev l'entendit, ce fut dans un enthousiasme qu'il s'empressa d'immortaliser dans une lettre qu'il adressa à son compatriote : "J'ai enfin entendu votre Cinquième, dans des conditions effroyables il est vrai : c'était à Sokolniki ; on entendait une locomotive siffler au loin tandis que quelqu'un jouait de l'harmonica dans le parc et que des légions de mouches vous piquaient cruellement... De nombreux passages de la symphonie m'ont beaucoup plu, bien qu'il me soit apparu clairement que l'œuvre n'est pas appréciée pour la raison pour laquelle elle devrait l'être ; il me semble que l'on n'a absolument pas remarqué en quoi cette symphonie mérite des éloges. Quoi qu'il en soit, je suis heureux qu'elle soit appréciée car, après toutes ces "machines d'hier" dont nous ont abreuvés dernièrement nos collègues compositeurs, il est bon que quelque chose de neuf voit le jour. On finira bien par comprendre aussi ce qui est essentiel dans cette symphonie". Aujourd'hui, la cinquième symphonie est certainement la plus célèbre de son auteur. Quant à la symphonie N°9, composée en un mois à peine, elle fut un véritable pied de nez à la tradition qui voulait que ce chiffre soit d'une grandeur indéfectible en regard de Beethoven, Schubert ou Bruckner. Chostakovitch en fit une œuvre sarcastique à la mode de Haydn. Dirigeant l'orchestre national russe, Yakov Kreizberg offre ici une vision puissante et expressive de la cinquième. D’une manière générale, sa direction vivante et inspirée rend un bel hommage à ces partitions incontournables. Un enregistrement indispensable.

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Review by garthoz March 4, 2009 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I felt inspired to bring this disc to the fore once again. It is absolutely amazing. If you love Shostakovich or feel tempted to try his symphonies then I am compelled to recommend this disc to you.
The 5th is most comprehensive and accessible, while the 9th is very entertaining. The coupling is appropriate and generous at over 77 minutes of music.
And what a wonderful sound the teams from Channel Classics and Polyhymnia have captured. The dynamic range is huge, there is an almost startling immediacy to the sound, and all this with breathtaking clarity. There is a strong centre channel. (It is most annoying when a so-called multi-channel disc doesn't have one). The surround channels provide ambience to the MC image. And what an image it is! You hear the music and not speakers. There is a distinct "hologram" image of the orchestra and its sound in front of you. This image is more pronounced in this recording than in any other SACD in my possession. I would expect that the quality of one's equipment and degree of fine tuning will determine how pronounced this image is, but it is on the disc. The recording team typically places us a little behind the conductor and this close proximity seems to well suit the intensity of the music. The strings play as one with the most realistic sound I have heard on a recording. The brass playing is simply spectacular, with boldness and impeccable ensemble.
It is hard to imagine a better interpretation of these symphonies. My Haitink version of the 5th (1981) used to drag in places and gallop in others. By comparison, Kreizberg takes the opening movement two minutes faster and the fourth movement two minutes slower.
This music is especially suited to SACD and MC with its dynamic range and large sound stage allowing us to appreciate the sharp edges and interplay in the compositions.
This splendid recording has me now looking for more of Shostakovich's music.

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Review by Luukas May 13, 2014 (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Yakov Kreizberg - who died suddenly in 2012 - made many recordings of Pentatone's label, and his all recordings are very enjoyable. I have his recording of Russian Violin Concertos (Hatsaturjan, Prokofiev, Glazunov) with Julian Fischer and I like it very much.
Now he continues his "Russian line" with Shostakovich's Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. This is very powerful performance of Shostakovich's familiar Fifth Symphony. The dramatic first movement sounds vividly, and Kreizberg's tempi are moving. The short ironic scherzo is performed very satisfying, and Pentatone label's recording quality is outstanding (specially in 5.0 multi-channel mode)! Solo violin's happy solos sounds very good, and timpani's angry rhythms are stunning. The beautiful third movement is my favorite: first flute's sadly, hopeful theme sounds very beautiful, and movement's gentle end is also excellent. Finale is very good: RNO plays magnificent and Kreizberg conducts very well; he understands this score. The symphony's triumphant end is much better than Leopold Stokowski's (BBC Legends) or Mstislav Rostropovich's (DG) recordings. Fantastic performance!
The funny Ninth Symphony in E flat major is also very good. The other releases of Russian National Orchestra's Shostakovich series are Vladimir Jurowski's powerful accounts of composer's First and Sixth Symphonies, Paavo Berglund's brilliant reading of dramatic Eight Symphony and Mikhail Pletnev's enjoyable recordings of composer's latest Eleventh and Fifteenth Symphonies. Warmly recommend!

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