Shostakovich, Lutoslawski

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Lutoslawski,Shostakovich
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Symphony No. 10; Musique Funébre
PERFORMER: Cleveland Orchestra/Christoph von Dohnanyi
CATALOGUE NO: 430844-2 DDD
There are no major flaws in this offering, only a series of niggles. The playing, as one might expect from this source, is superb if a little detached; the recording is suitably resonant, if not as wide in dynamic range as some expect these days. While the latter is sometimes a problem in the more strenuous passages, the real difficulty is that certain key moments in the unfolding psychological drama simply do not come off.

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The hallucinatory close of the Allegretto passes without any sense of authentic ghostly ambiguity and the final crucial pages of the Finale, in which the music topples from exultation into frightening hysteria, are delivered with an elegance altogether at odds with their emotional content.

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Lutoslawski’s Musique Funébre, taken fairly briskly, is similarly flawed. It is all there and very pretty, but simply lacks depth. Simon Cargill