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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonies - Released July 19, 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Ah yes, glissandos galore! How we have missed them. While it sometimes seems as though every contemporary conductor, both young and old, feels obliged to bring their own ideas to Mahler’s work, Vladimir Jurowski, already a highly-distinguished conductor who has often explored the works of the “Czech” composer (Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Totenfeier), is not afraid of relying on expressive phrases that seem somewhat questionable today. It is strange, because such joy, performed with such style, is hard to resist... And what a Ruhevoll he delivers on this album!Jurowski continues his Mahlerian journey here with Symphony No. 4. He offers a completely original touch, mingling influences from Dvořák and Janáček with those of Bruckner and Strauss. Is this what Mahler would have wanted? In any case, he is modern precisely for that reason, and Jurowski knows it. It all seems like a game to him. Don’t bother looking for the ethereal (found in Abbado’s interpretation) or eternity (Haitink). Instead, the flutes gargle, the clarinets growl, the bassoons blush, the timpani roar, and above all this bohemian commotion, the violins sing with their “pricking” technique. The fluctuating poetics of Bedächtig have rarely sounded so alive, natural or radiant. The scordatura of the second movement conjures up an image of hell, acting as an appetiser for the Burleske from the Ninth. Finally, the horn continues resounding and, even in the middle of hell, lyricism triumphs. In the final lied (Sehr behaglich), Sofia Fomina, with her perfect voice, performs a light dance with a childish spirit that transcends the lyrics “No music on earth is comparable to ours” (Kein’ Musik ist ja nicht auf Erden die unsrer verglichen kann werden). It begs the question: were Seefried and Walter the inspiration for this enchanting interpretation by Jurowski? And when will Symphony No. 6 be released?! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released March 15, 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Beautifully recorded and lovingly performed, Vladimir Jurowski and the Russian National Orchestra's coupling of Tchaikovsky's Third Orchestra Suite and Stravinsky's Divertimento from Le baiser de la fée has almost everything going for it. It has plenty of power -- listen to the brass in the Dies irae quote in Tchaikovsky's closing "Theme and Variations" -- plenty of enthusiasm -- listen to the woodwinds in Stravinsky's Dances Suisses -- and plenty of soul -- listen to the strings in the Elégie that opens Tchaikovsky's Suite. Jurowski has the energy to keep the tempos moving, the wit to keep the melodies bouncing, the strength to keep the lines firm, and the sense not to let the music get carried away with itself. The Russian National Orchestra has the big tone, the muscular rhythms, the brilliant colors, and the unsurpassed integrity of the great Soviet orchestras. And PentaTone's super audio sound is as good as the best recordings ever made in any format. So what's missing? In a word, refinement. Not often but too often for comfort, the brass will crack or the strings will slip or the winds will bleat or the ensemble will slide and the listener will be left wondering what happened to the first-rate performance he/she had been listening to. Although anyone who already knows and loves either Tchaikovsky's Third Suite or Stravinsky's Divertimento will want to check out this disc for its many merits, those who do may find themselves slightly let down by the end.
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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 2006 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Although there have been dozens of recordings of Shostakovich's First and Sixth symphonies over the years, there is still a burning need for more recordings of both. Why? Simple: because both works are essentially inscrutable and no conductor has yet plumbed their enigmatic depths. After all, what's a conductor supposed to do with the First, a four-movement work that so thoroughly mixes irony and tragedy that it's often impossible to tell which is which? Or how about with the Sixth, a three-movement work that opens with a massively nihilistic Largo and ends with a pair of brief but cheerful scherzos? There have been recordings of the First that so stress the irony that it's hard to take the tragedy seriously and other recordings that so stress the tragedy that the irony seems superfluous. Similarly, there have been recordings of the Sixth that speed up the Largo to the point where its despair seems trivial and other recordings that slow down the Largo to the point where its despair seems to have killed it dead. But so far, no recording of either work has completely succeeded in finding the right aesthetic balance between irony and tragedy -- hence the burning need for more recordings What does conductor Vladimir Jurowski do with the First and Sixth in this 2004 recording for PentaTone? He plays it absolutely straight, which, considering the emotional weight of the music, hardly seem like the best approach to take. With the superbly trained and brilliantly colorful Russian National Orchestra, Jurowski turns in performances that reduce the music's tragedy along with its irony. The insouciant tone of the First's opening Allegretto is snappy but lacks bite, while the gravity of the First's central Lento is weighty but lacks depth. Similarly, the limitless desolation of the Sixth's opening Largo is neither too fast nor too slow, but rather too cool to have any effect while the reckless exuberance of the Sixth's closing Presto is marvelously effective but makes the music sound too much like an exercise in orchestral virtuosity and not at all like the conclusion of a work that began with a nihilistic Largo. While PentaTone's deep and detailed sound is surely among the finest either work has ever received, Jurowski's interpretations fail to match the best recordings of the distant past -- Kondrashin's and Rozhdestvensky's -- or the more recent past -- Ashkenazy's or Temirkanov's -- or his contemporaries -- Barshai's and Kitajenko's -- and this recording will be of interest principally to those who collect recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony is amply represented in the catalog by dozens of recordings. But the same composer's Ode to the End of the War had only two recordings at the time of this release, the best of which was a scrappy 1965 performance with Leonid Nikolayev leading the assembled multitudes of the USSR Radio & TV Symphony. The work itself tends to crumble under the weight of its own mechanical tempos and bombastic orchestration, but its inclusion does make this disc special. For that reason alone, Prokofiev fanatics will have to hear it. Vladimir Jurowski's Fifth has the necessary scope and scale, plus plenty of muscle, but a slightly too quick Adagio saps some of the emotional impact from his performance. His Ode to the End of War, with its unrelenting drive and unerring pace, is clearly the best yet recorded. The Russian National Orchestra fulfills both the letter and the spirit of both scores. Like the conductor, however, it leaves a small something to be desired -- in this case because of a raw tone and a rough ensemble. Still, the interpretation is persuasive, and easy to endorse for that reason. Though PentaTone has made some excellent super audio recordings, this one is almost too excellent. If the Russian National Orchestra's enormously expanded percussion section were any more tangibly present, there wouldn't be any room left for the listener.
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Symphonies - Released February 3, 2015 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released October 28, 2008 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2011 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released October 1, 2014 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet