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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Noseda’s Shostakovich Is A Reminder Of How Much We Miss Live Orchestral Music

By Norman Lebrecht on January 22, 2021

LSO-Shostakovich-Noseda

Shostakovich: Symphonies 9 and 10 (LSO Live)

★★★★☆

🎧 Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music

If Gianandrea Noseda were not already music director in Washington DC and at Zurich Opera, he would probably be top of the London Symphony Orchestra’s wishlist to succeed the stop-gap Sir Simon Rattle in two years’ time.

Listen to the whiplash crack of the rhythms he elicits at the start of the Shostakovich ninth symphony, and you might be reminded of the young Riccardo Muti at the Philharmonia in the 1970s. Listen further to the ironic discordances of the Largo movement, and you’ll hear a unique fusion — a lyrical Italian with a sophisticated sympathy for covert Russian ambiguities.

Noseda served time as an assistant in Valery Gergiev’s opera company in St Petersburg. He went on to work for the BBC in Manchester before becoming music director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy. Somewhere along the line he put in guesting stints with the Israel Philharmonic, the LSO and Pittsburgh. In sheer variety of experience, few conductors today can match him. In his mid-50s, he will be in contention for every major vacancy in the coming years.

LSO-Shostakovich-album_cover

These live recordings from the Barbican demonstrate Noseda’s tendency to go for a tight close-up when an individual player or section shines bright, and for a wider view when Shostakovich lapses into one of his mumbling equivocations and melancholic slumps. The 10th symphony loses a notch or two of tension in the finale and the recorded sound is constipated by the Barbican’s acoustic shortcomings. But the release gives us what we most crave right now — an experience, or at least a simulacrum — of live orchestral music in all its colours and frailties. You won’t be disappointed.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

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Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

IN MEMORIAM | Beloved Canadian Actor Christopher Plummer Dies At 91

By Anya Wassenberg on February 5, 2021

Canadian acting legend Christopher Plummer has died at the age of 91.
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EDITORIAL | Just Pivot They Said: Ontario's Concert Venues Just Can't Get A Break

By Michael Vincent on January 28, 2021

As long as we keep COVID in our crosshairs, the performing arts will return, but the events sector has been stuck at the starting gates.
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LEBRECHT LISTENS | Some Of The Most Painfully Consequential Music You Will Ever Hear

By Norman Lebrecht on February 12, 2021

The outstanding Offenburgers play a gripping compilation of some of the most richly coloured and painfully consequential music you are ever likely to hear.
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