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The first Soviet conductor of whom it can truly be said that he is a citizen of the world’ John Warrack BBC Radio 3 1978 Gennady Rozhdestvensky is a musician of catholic taste as this 10CD illustrates. His discography includes around 800 works! He is capable of freshly considered and immaculately prepared interpretations of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Tavener, Berwald and Nielsen as well as some of the rarer names included on CD1 if this set.
However, the Russian repertoire was at the core of his musical life. Among the great recordings of Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Prokofiev and Glazunov, his interpretations of Shostakovich stand out. This set includes symphonies Nos.1, 4, 7, 9 & 10 as well as works by lesser know contemporary Soviet composers who music he championed, notably Fleischmann’s ‘Rotschild’s Violin’ completed by Shostakovich.
He is a conductor who’s podium style is undemonstrative – using only the most subtle and economic of gestures, and yet maintaining total control of the orchestra securing knife edge rhythms, sharp phrases and precision attack. He is without doubt one of the greatest conductors of our time, and Volume 1 of his recordings from Brilliant Classics allows the listener to experience the extraordinary genius of Rozhdestvensky over a characteristically wide and varied range of repertoire.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.