Chamber Symphonies

The Dmitri Ensemble

(Harmonia Mundi)

Do not look for “chamber symphony” in Shostakovich’s list of compositions. The three “symphonies” on this disc are arrangements of the String Quartets Nos 1, 8 and 10 by conductor Rudolf Barshai, the composer’s close associate.

In its new guise the music speaks on a public scale, the lone voices of the string quartet replaced by the shared suffering of the multitude, in the form of a string orchestra.

The Dmitri Ensemble and conductor Graham Ross draw upon the heightened contrasts available to them in performances of trenchant intensity.

First-rate playing and recording.

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