Mark Wigglesworth

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 15

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Mark Wigglesworth and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra recorded Dmitry Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 in F minor and the Symphony No. 15 in A major in 2006, and this hybrid SACD captures both studio performances with remarkable depth, vibrant colors, and clarity. This is part of Wigglesworth's impressive cycle of the symphonies for BIS, and as he approaches its completion, he reaffirms his status as one of the world's leading interpreters of Shostakovich. These works practically bookend Shostakovich's career, yet when they are paired together, they reveal the consistent fundamentals of his personal style and methods and show his propulsive energy, sardonic wit, and elegiac power. Wigglesworth and the orchestra have developed a strong rapport over years of performing and recording, so the playing is alert and spontaneous, and the interpretations are thoughtful and thoroughly explored. There's no sense of confusion or uncertainty, least of all in the Symphony No. 15, which is more than a little mysterious because of its odd quotations of Rossini and Wagner and mercurial changes of mood. The audiophile reproduction gives a well-rounded impression of the orchestra, so every part is distinct and fully present, and the wide dynamic range can be appreciated without a lot of volume adjustments.

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