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  Brilliant Classics -
  Shostakovich: Jazz Suites - Kuchar
  Shostakovich: Jazz Suites Nos. 1 & 2

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Theodore Kuchar (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 1

Review by beardawgs May 20, 2005 (12 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The only thing missing here is any information about the recording. It sounds dangerously close to pure DSD, but even if it’s 96 kHz it’s one of the best I’ve ever heard. And who ever produced it, knew where to put their microphones and how far. Depth of the soundstage measures up well to some of the best recordings from Polyhymnia (my personal reference), but it is the transparency and natural focus that literally blew me away the moment the music started. Add to that wide dynamic range and fantastic performance and the result is a definite SACD format showcase for our mates interested in ‘lighter’ music.

This is a bargain disc in price only. It is my first encounter with Kuchar and Ukrainian orchestra and after seeing a similar type of excitement posted for their account of Musorgski’s “Pictures” on Naxos will be getting that one asap. Back to this one - Shostakovich was fascinated with western popular music of the era, culminating in his opera/musical “Cheryomushki” (in my loose translation “Cherry-tree district”). Master of orchestration, he employs a huge orchestra in a series of cheeky (and often cheesy) tunes from home and abroad. Two jazz suites we have here are sort of experiment and initiation into the musical style so different from the world of his symphonies. It is definitely light, but very entertaining, well rounded and full of humour and great fun to listen too (Waltz no 2 features in Kubrick’s “Eyes wide shut”, thankfully, this cover doesn’t advertise that on the front page like some other recordings).

Ukrainian players were enjoying every bit of it, do did we. The orchestra is rather small-ish, every item has focus on different group providing fantastic variety of sound and colours. The performance is rhythmically solid and full of vigour and individual virtuosity, with some particularly fine saxophone playing. Even if this is not on-the-spot-jam-session, but thoroughly composed and well rehearsed music, there is a great sense of spontaneity in it. Buy it for those detox moments when you need a rest from revolutionary excitement and deep existential gloom.

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Works: 2  

Dmitri Shostakovich - Jazz Suite No. 1
Dmitri Shostakovich - Jazz Suite No. 2