Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a - Strauss: Metamorphosen for 23 Strings, TrV 290
These two works for string are powerful responses to the horrors of the Second World War. Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, expanded into a string symphony, is a visceral indictment of fascism, while Richard Strauss’ work for 23 strings channels his unbridled outpouring of grief at the destruction of many of Germany’s opera houses during the war. Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme conducts his impressive Baltic Chamber Orchestra in finely honed and intense performances, the lower strings digging deep and tapping into great reserves of emotion. Powerful stuff and an imaginative pairing.