Mark Wigglesworth

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 9 & 12

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Enjoyable and in every way acceptable, these 2007 BIS recordings of Shostakovich's Ninth and Twelfth symphonies as performed by Mark Wigglesworth and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra would be fine if encountered in the concert hall. But on CD, where repeated listenings are often the greatest reward, Wigglesworth's realizations of these scores quickly run out of steam. Wigglesworth's conducting is technically secure, and he extracts enough excitement from the scores to initially entertain, but even with the strong and energetic playing of the Netherlands orchestra and BIS' wide-screen super-audio recording, he fails to put forward a distinct or wholly realized vision. His Ninth, while ironic in tone, seems to lack drive, and his muscular Twelfth lacks the evocative atmosphere and coloring that truly bring it to life.

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