Barber, Shostakovich

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Barber,Shostakovich
WORKS: Violin Concerto; Violin Concerto No. 1
PERFORMER: Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (violin)London Symphony Orchestra/Maxim Shostakovich
CATALOGUE NO: 0777 7 54314 2 1 DDD
The bleak simplicity of this Shostakovich leaves the Barber looking parochial, although the honeyed, reflective first movement of the latter is particularly appealing, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg confidently enjoys its warmth.


She is a bold player who lets her vibrato get too coarse as she tries to give the Barber maximum value, but she shows far more sensitive tone control in the Shostakovich which has a sad, firm grace. Maxim Shostakovich and the London Symphony Orchestra lend perfect support. Bare scales and arpeggios travel to the strangest regions: one unexpected note has consequences that last for long structural spans. The energy that bursts in the Scherzo and the darting, exotic last movement is fiery and authentic. Meredith Oakes