Shostakovich from the BBC Philharmonic

shosty12&15The latest release from the BBC Philharmonic and conductor John Storgårds is a generous coupling of two Shostakovich symphonies; Symphony No. 12 in D Minor (The Year 1917) and Symphony No.15 in A Major.  That’s a total of 85 minutes of music.  It’s also an SACD release from Chandos so technically it’s exemplary.

Really the quality of the music making and the quality of the recording reinforce each other.  Shostakovich symphonies tend to be a combination of delicacy and detail coupled with stirring, even bombastic, climaxes.  I was struck by just how delicate Storgårds makes his orchestra sound when he wants.  There’s some really beautiful woodwind playing for instance.  Then, just when I’m writing a note to myself that “this is a bit civilized for Shostakovich”, wham!  In comes the brass and percussion in a shattering climax.  And the contrast is so much more effective with the extended frequency and dynamic range that SACD affords.  Tying it all together is a kind of restless energy that runs through both symphonies.  It’s really good.

The recording was made at the BBC Media Centre in Salford in August and September 2022 and it was recorded, as Chandos do, in 24 bit, 96kHz resolution, which is what allows the full quality of SACD to emerge.  The physical disk has the usual multi and 2 channel SACD mixes plus a standard res CD track.  It’s also available digitally as MP# or standard and high res FLAC.  The excellent booklet is also included in the digital release.

Catalogue number: Chandos CHSA 5334


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