” … For the Shostakovich panorama, which is as compact as it is complex, Leif Ove Andsnes has brought in the expert Gerard McBurney … Not only did he make arrangements of some of the chamber music works but also brought with him Alexander Vustin, born in 1943, as well as introducing works by deceased contemporaries of the central figure. With only six compositions, Vustin is to act as a strong voice of the Soviet-Russian descendants.

“And he does so in the first concert with the emphatic “Zaitsev’s Letter”, an original, burning indictment of a prisoner during the perestroika period, who denounces the conditions in Soviet prisons. The tenor Christophe Poncet de Solages speaks, screams, whispers and sings the furious, string orchestra (also singing) and large drum with sounds from the gulag increase this to film-musically dense anxiety. And then, on the same emotional track, but with a spiritual, transcendent, the excellently synchronous ensemble Allegria with Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony Opus 110a recreates the 8th String Quartet reworked by Rudolf Barschai …

“Music stories of pain and torment as they permeate the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, as with hardly any other composer of the violent 20th century. But there is also the cheerful, playfully silly Schosti … carefree youthful works, the two pieces for string octet Opus 11. In the closest exchange of voices, they gather several of the festival protagonists: violist Tabea Zimmermann and cellist Clemens Hagen, who is here for the first time, the excellently intense Quatour Danel as well as the two violinists Veriko Tchunburidze from Turkey and Sonoko Miriam Welde from Norway.

“Edison Denisov’s oblique clarinet solo sonata, virtuosically blown by Anthony McGill, soloist of the New York Philharmonic, is already leading into the more serious part. In the midst of the beauty of the place, one should remember the “Songs and Dances of Death”. Mussorgsky was not only a precursor to Shostakovich, he often orchestrated them, including this four-part song cycle. Leif Ove Andsnes now sits at the piano as not only a companion to the young, juicy-sounding Ukrainian bass-baritone Andrei Bondarenko, much booked by Teodor Currentzis, who sings with supple creative power. And so even after this first concert of Rosendal 4 the level is already set: high, but calm.”

Read the full review at Die Welt

Source: Die Welt