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‘ It would be difficult to think of an ensemble better suited to Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony .’ The Times
‘ The quality of the string playing throughout is outstanding: admirably expressive, fearlessly virtuosic and surprisingly full-toned .’ The Strad
‘ The Piano Concerto, too, is full of detail and deftness. The trumpet obbligato is rattled off with dry wit by John Wallace .’ Daily Telegraph
This is the premiere recording of a transcription by Rudolf Barshai of the composer’s monument to ‘the victims of fascism and war’. The Chamber Symphony is a gripping portrayal of the brutality of conflict. Its jagged, dynamic rhythms in the central sections are contrasted by elegiac outer movements that never fail to move the listener.
In contrast the Piano Concerto is one of the most exuberant examples of Shostakovich’s wonderfully subversive sense of humour. Sophia Rahman and John Wallace are the highly accomplished soloists who excel in this repertoire. The programme concludes with the rarely heard Two pieces for string octet which includes the feverishly brilliant Scherzo.