LABELS: DG Galleria
WORKS: Symphony No. 5; Francesca da Rimini
PERFORMER: Warsaw PO/Witold Rowicki, Leningrad PO/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
CATALOGUE NO: 453 988-2 ADD 1960/61
Rowicki’s Shostakovich may lack the high-octane tensions of a Bernstein or Mravinsky interpretation, but it has many other worthwhile qualities – not least a superb grasp of the unfolding structure of the first movement and an eloquently sustained and deeply felt conception of the slow movement. There’s also much to savour in Rozhdestvensky’s Francesca, with the Leningrad PO pulling out all the stops in the hysterical coda. The recordings are hardly state-of-the-art but, given the quality of the performances, this matters little.