SHOSTAKOVICH (THE BEST OF) (Christopher Lyndon-Gee/ CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)/ Eder Quartet/ Ladislav Slovak/ Michael Houstoun/ New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/ Stockholm Arts Trio/ Theodore Kuchar/ Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra) (Naxos: 8.
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\Naxos's Shostakovich recordings by Ladislav Slovak have the ring of authenticity" - Classic CD
And Classic CD are absolutely correct. Ladislav Slovak was present, as a young assistant conductor in Leningrad, at the rehearsals when Shostakovich prepared the world premiére performances of his symphonies. The complete cycle of symphonies received praise from around the world, the Fifth Symphony described in Classic CD as an "excellently gripping performance". Many of the famous moments from his four most frequently performed symphonies are included in this ideal introduction to his music.
The disc also contains some Shostakovich 'lollipops', including the Romance from the film The Gadfly, a piece which shot to prominence as the background to the long running TV series, Riley Ace of Spies.
Shostakovich is at the present enjoying considerable popularity in the concert hall, largely due to the never ending tours being made by East European orchestras. This disc aims to capture the 'purple' patches from his vast output. Naxos is certainly not alone in the Shostakovich highlight disc market, but few offer such a comprehensive view of his music.