Mstation Classical Reviews

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Sat, 02 Sep 2006


Dmitri Shostakovich, Violin concerto No.1
Violin sonata
Leila Josefowicz
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo
John Novacek
LP, Warners

You probably knew that the big orchestras have what they call freelancers who are hired for short periods of a concert or two or a recording and then sent on their way. I didn't until quite recently (Hello Franzisca, I hope Berlin has been nice!) and I'm not sure I like the idea much. The idea of a big orchestra is that its members are adequately rehearsed and taken care of financially and otherwise. But here we have a kind of outsourcing whereby the musician is paid less and the orchestra uses its name to promote projects like this. I think it stinks. The reason I mention it is that this orchestra is involved in these practices.

In another review this month we looked at some Shostakovich cello works and here we have two pieces for violin. They are certainly not any happier than the cello pieces but they are, of course, in a higher range at least. The concerto is a regular part of the repertoire and deemed a masterpiece whereas the sonata has quite a few detractors.

Leila Josefowicz certainly handles it all with aplomb and a little flash as well and the recording is first class. (Baron K)

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