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Andris Nelsons & BSO - Shostakovich: Symphonies 5, 8, 9 makes HAARETZ - Best Classical Albums of 2016

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A large number of classical CDs were released in 2016, of which I only heard a small fraction. Many people continue to prefer discs, but others, mainly young people, have switched to more contemporary media, notably streaming and YouTube. The immediate question is what a reviewer should focus on. As the streaming sites are basically organized in a format of albums, a CD review enables the reader to look for the content on Apple Music, Spotify or on the most interesting site for listening to classical music, Tidal, with its High Fidelity sound quality.

Accordingly, I continued to focus on the medium that I buy and listen to: CDs. My list of favorites doesn't take into account whether the CD is imported to Israel. That approach would limit the discussion, and in any event ordering via the Internet has become the norm. I also considered a few segments on YouTube, which is now a major source of music consumption. There I found several exceptional recordings that can't be found elsewhere and are available for free. In the end, my survey consists of four new albums that I listened to on CDs, one YouTube segment and one boxed set, a re-release of old.

4. Shostakovich: Symphonies 5, 8, 9, Incidental Music to Hamlet; Boston Symphony Orchestra; conductor: Andris Nelsons (Deutsche Grammophon)

Despite the many excellent recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies, I prefer the interpretation of Andris Nelsons, the musical director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The performances of the three symphonies was one of the exciting listening experiences of the year: intensive but also meticulously upholding the structure and the classical symmetry. The extraordinary recording quality heightens the experience.

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