(…) A further trump card was Capriccio's decision to issue these performances, recorded between 2002 and 2004, on Super-Audio CD, for the demonstration quality sound, whether taken live in Cologne's Philharmonie or from within a recording studio, has an overwhelming immediacy that allows listeners to savour every detail of Shostakovich's inspired orcherstration. (...) I found the performances of the First, Fourth, Sixth, Twelfth and Thirteenth Symphonies to be consistently gripping, the latter work enhanced in its impact by the authentic Slav colours of the wonderful Prague Philharmonic Chorus and the impassioned and characterful singing of the bass Arutiun Kotchinian. (...) But in general these performances seem to get to the heart of the matter, exposing in particular the deep vein of suffering the Shostakovich experienced during the terrible years of Stalinist repression. At present, there are surprisingly few alternative sets of the complete symphonies on the market. (...) No doubt finer versions of individual symphonies may one day find their way into a boxed st, but in the meantime those coming to these remarkable works for the first time will surely be thrilled by Kitaenko's powerful interpretations and the disciplined playing of the Gürzenich Orchestra.
Erik Levi, BBC music magazine, 17.08.2007Back