Magazine article Gramophone

'Miroirs'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Miroirs'

Article excerpt

'Miroirs'

J Christoph Bach Ach dass Wassers genug hatte (a) JS Bach Cantata No 170--'Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen' (a) Bacri Lamento, Op 81a Barber Adagio, Op 11 Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, Op 110a (arr Barshai)

(a) Malena Ernman mez Ensemble Matheus / Jean-Christophe Spinosi DG [F] 481 0648 (53' * DDD)

When Jean-Christophe Spinosi backed away from his specialty as a Vivaldi conductor a few years ago, one never envisioned him re-emerging with Shostakovich, or that the hair-trigger contrasts that make his Vivaldi thrilling would lend themselves to the abrupt, collage elements of Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony Op 110, the centrepiece of this disc. The deeply introspective, low-vibrato performance distinctively conveys a sense of a world flying apart in all directions in a sort of hallucinatory slow motion.

With all of the penetrating recordings of Rudolf Barshai's transcription of the Eighth String Quartet (written in the aftermath of 1945 and intended as a memorial to himself as well), this recording's main appeal is the way the piece is sequenced, framed by lamentations from distant places and eras that have a previously unsuspected near-family resemblance.

Barber's Adagio for strings begins the disc with a high-intensity reading that never capitalises on the music's potential prettiness. On each side of Shostakovich is the JC Bach aria Ach dass ich Wassers genug hatte, while Nicolas Bacri's newly composed Lamento uses the same text and generally expands emotionally on the latter piece. …

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