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Nicola Benedetti - Shostakovich & Glazunov / theartsdesk review

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So many decent recordings of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.1 have appeared in recent years, and here's another. James Ehnes was given superb support from Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the same team accompany Nicola Benedetti on this disc. Lower strings are superb in the Nocturne's shadier corners, Benedetti's tone suitably parched. The scherzo's rhythms are brilliantly sprung, but it's the haunting, deeply-felt "Passacaglia" which makes this performance work. Karabits knows how to tighten the screws, the movement's centre both harrowing and exhilarating. A gutsy cadenza leads into an exuberant "Burlesque", Benedetti catching the anger and the joy. Decca's recording is spectacular, allowing us to appreciate what a good orchestra this is.

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