Ancerl Gold Edition 23 - Shostakovich: Symphony No 7 "Leningrad"
The Scherzo flows pertly with typically terrific wind playing, while Ancerl wrings every drop of feeling from the long Adagio, its climax perfectly placed. He also builds the finale to a grandiose but never annoying or merely banal conclusion, and with amazing finesse gets through the dead acreage before the final build-up. The tangy tones of the Czech Philharmonic ensure that even the first movement's oft-repeated "invasion" theme sports an unusually enticing range of timbres and colors. The sonic limitations obviously mean that this recording won't be a first version of the "Leningrad" Symphony for most collectors--for that go to Bernstein (DG) or Järvi (Chandos)--but if you enjoy the work, or think it's nothing but a bombastic potboiler, Ancerl and his orchestra's supreme musicianship might just change your mind.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: SU3683-2
Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor: Karel Ancerl
Orchestra/Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra