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Discussion: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 - Wigglesworth

Posts: 5

Post by mahlerei July 20, 2009 (1 of 5)
Have just finished listening to this and would agree that the recording is spectacular. Wigglesworth lays bare every tiny detail in the score and that's admirable, but his reading of this precocious work lacks the fire of, say, Kondrashin or Rozhdestvensky. Perhaps one could describe this performance as too cultivated to be entirely convincing. I had the same misgivings about Wigglesworth's DSCH 13, a performance that never quite gets to the essence of the music.

Post by krisjan July 20, 2009 (2 of 5)
I agree with your brief assessment of this recording. Very good sonics with a performance that lacks fire in many places. This is one of my least favorite Shosty symphonies so I am not comfortable in saying anything more about the performance (hence, no review from me on this site). I've heard perhaps 3-4 other versions over the years (all RBCD's) but none that have convinced me that this is a great work by DSCH. I felt the same way about Wigglesworth's Sym 8 which is my favorite DSCH sym - it was too slow and lacked excitement.

Post by robstl July 20, 2009 (3 of 5)
mahlerei said:

Have just finished listening to this and would agree that the recording is spectacular. Wigglesworth lays bare every tiny detail in the score and that's admirable, but his reading of this precocious work lacks the fire of, say, Kondrashin or Rozhdestvensky. Perhaps one could describe this performance as too cultivated to be entirely convincing. I had the same misgivings about Wigglesworth's DSCH 13, a performance that never quite gets to the essence of the music.

I've only had one listen-through of the 4th so far. Regarding the 13th, though, it's funny how two people can hear the same sounds and arrive at different conclusions -- it completely blew me away, in both sonics and performance. I liked the performance of the 13th even better than the world premiere concert recording (Kondrashin), which for me is saying it's the best I've heard. Respect your opinion, of course!

Post by wehecht July 20, 2009 (4 of 5)
robstl said:

I've only had one listen-through of the 4th so far. Regarding the 13th, though, it's funny how two people can hear the same sounds and arrive at different conclusions -- it completely blew me away, in both sonics and performance. I liked the performance of the 13th even better than the world premiere concert recording (Kondrashin), which for me is saying it's the best I've heard. Respect your opinion, of course!

Agreed as to the 13th, while not the most viscerally "exciting" performance (and I'm not at all sure excitement is the emotional response I'm looking for in this music) to my ears this interpretation is very true to the sense of the poetry and it's presented in what is by far the best sound of any version I've heard. I also think Wigglesworth's 8th is excellent if not quite as shattering as some others. I've got the 4th on order.

Post by hiredfox July 20, 2009 (5 of 5)
Semyon Bychkov version is far better in every respect.

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