The Lebrecht Weekly: Shostakovich: Symphonies 9 and 10 (LSO Live)

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

If Gianandrea Noseda were not already music director in Washington DC and at Zurich Opera, he would probably be top of the London Symphony Orchestra’s wishlist to succeed the stop-gap Sir Simon Rattle in two years’ time.

Listen to the whiplash crack of the rhythms he elicits at the start of the Shostakovich ninth symphony and you might be reminded of the young Riccardo Muti at the Philharmonia in the 1970s. Listen further to the ironic discordances of the Largo movement and you’ll hear a unique fusion – a lyrical Italian with a sophisticated sympathy for covert Russian ambiguities.

Noseda served time as an assistant in Valery Gergiev’s opera company in St Petersburg. He went on to work for the BBC in Manchester before becoming music director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy. Somewhere along the line he put in guesting stints with the Israel Philharmonic, the LSO and Pittsburgh. In sheer variety of experience, few conductors today can match him. In his mid-50s, he will be in contention for every major vacancy in the coming years.

These live recordings from the Barbican demonstrate Noseda’s tendency to go for a tight close-up when an individual player or section shines bright, and for a wider view when Shostakovich lapses into one of his mumbling equivocations and melancholic slumps. The 10th symphony loses a notch or two of tension in the finale and the recorded sound is constipated by the Barbican’s acoustic shortcomings. But the release gives us what we most crave right now – an experience, or at least a simulacrum – of live orchestral music in all its colours and frailties. You won’t be disappointed.


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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Norman Lebrecht is a prolific writer on music and cultural affairs. His blog, Slipped Disc, is one of the most popular sites for cultural news. He presents The Lebrecht Interview on BBC Radio 3 and is a contributor to several publications, including the Wall Street Journal and The Standpoint. Visit every Friday for his weekly CD review // Norman Lebrecht est un rédacteur prolifique couvrant les événements musicaux et Slipped Disc, est un des plus populaires sites de nouvelles culturelles. Il anime The Lebrecht Interview sur la BBC Radio 3 et collabore à plusieurs publications, dont The Wall Street Journal et The Standpoint. Vous pouvez lire ses critiques de disques chaque vendredi.

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