SHOSTAKOVICH Orango Prologue, 4. Symphonie Salonen 4790249

. . . [it proved] fitting that Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic were chosen to present "Orango" to the world. The precision, the theatricality and the deep feeling for the music displayed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall suggested a real understanding of [the score] . . . In Salonen's hands, these 40 minutes felt not like an afterthought or fragment, but like the opening salvo of something significant . . . a short, gripping curtain-raiser . . . The tenors Michael Fabiano and Timur Bekbosunov were outstanding among a strong ensemble cast, and Eugene Brancoveanu was amusing in the truncated title role . . . [a] thrilling performance . . .

. . . an exciting work, in his best jazzy style. Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic bring equal commitment to the Fourth Symphony.

. . . ["Orango"]: Esa-Pekka Salonen's LA forces give it five-star treatment -- the rising American tenor Michael Fabiano is outstanding . . . [a] stupendous account of the bewildering Fourth [Symphony] . . .

. . . ["Orango"]: Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Philharmonic have great fun with it, and there are fine performances from Eugene Brancoveanu as Orango, Ryan McKinny as the Entertainer who shows him off, and Michael Fabiano as the dubious Zoologist who lectures about him . . . [Symphony no. 4]: Salonen conducts it with cool lucidity and a sense of remorseless logic . . . Salonen's fondness for clear textures is very much in evidence, and often admirable.

. . . it's flavorful, enjoyable stuff, and Esa-Pekka Salonen leads a zesty performance . . . a full-throated and deeply convincing rendition of the composer's Fourth Symphony.

The symphony and the "Orango" prologue make a revealing pair in conjunction with deeply insightful notes from director Peter Sellars . . . The symphony is given a beautifully paced performance that achieves, more than most, a strong sense of through line despite a deeply fractured musical narrative . . . every episode fully makes its points in this performance . . . ["Orango"]: Esa-Pekka Salonen and his Los Angeles cast perform the piece with a confidence that suggests they could have written it.

. . . indeed, one of Shostakovich¿s wildest mélanges of folk tunes, marches, terrifying outbursts and an orchestration that includes car horns and whistles among other things . . . It is ¿ in all aspects ¿ the composer¿s audacious and largely successful depiction of a world gone mad . . . [Symphony No. 4]: Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen chose the bleak and terrifying Fourth as almost the logical extension of the mood established in "Orango" . . . I think this is Grammy award stuff! The Los Angeles Philharmonic emerged under Salonen as, arguably, the best orchestra in the country and I personally think that, during his tenure, they were an amazing and formidable ensemble. The recording is amazing . . . All the vocalists in Orango and every single instrumentalist in both pieces are splendid. This is an essential recording for admirers of Shostakovich as well as for fans of Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Strongly recommended!

. . . [This recording is further evidence of Shostakovich's] versatility and amazing capacity for hard work . . . ["Orango"]: Salonen and the cast catch every stylistic twist, and leave us wanting more . . . [Symphony no. 4 is] conducted and recorded here with unsparing clarity . . .

. . . [a] significant release . . . The level of the vocalism is high . . . the lovely-voiced Russian-American soprano Yulia van Doren and trenchant, versatile Kazakh new-music tenor Timur Bekbosunov prove comfortable with and convincing in the phonetics -- a key factor, surely, in rendering Shostakovich's stage works authentically . . . Ryan McKinny's narrating Entertainer handles the lion's share of the music with a strong bass-baritone . . . Michael Fabiano's fine, clear tenor sounds healthy in the Zoologist's little operetta-flavored arioso . . . The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays with precision and daring, giving the ballet movements full, apt flair . . . a grippingly fine performance of the complexly structured Fourth Symphony . . . Salonen's reading -- and the crackerjack L.A. Phil percussion section -- are right on target here.

. . . ["Orango"]: The musical gags are just about nourishing enough to succeed without visuals, and the final hysteria whips the audience into a frenzy . . . The "Prologue" makes a curious yet first-rate companion to the mighty Shostakovich Four. Salonen's approach to this half-human, half-monster Symphony is well-calculated. He makes clear connections between material that can so often seem random in the adventure of the first movement, and makes sure everything can be heard in cataclysmic climaxes. The clarity of bass lines and percussion is aided by the sound team's excellent management of LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall . . . the LA recording adds much to our understanding of an extraordinarily complex giant.

. . . [Salonen] turns his penetrating musical intellect on the extraordinary Fourth Symphony, achieving the kind of skewed logic that some merely hint at. It's a "composerly" account in which every thematic connection, however oblique, has something to say. Clarity is forensic, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic achieving levels of precision that can . . . totally suspend disbelief. And rarely has the enormous final chapter of the piece achieved a more harrowing inevitability.

. . . die Werke [weisen] eine kühne Stilvielfalt auf, was Salonen differenziert herausarbeitet . . . Salonen [verliert] nie den Gehalt aus dem Blick, was nicht zuletzt das weltentrückte Morendo der Celesta am Ende der Vierten zeigt . . .

Schostakowitsch kontrastierte revueartige Abschnitte mit tiefmelancholischen Szenen, Protestmusik mit Opernpomp. Sein bewährter Witz und Spott blitzt immer wieder auf in dem rund 30-minütigen Prolog . . . [die Uraufführung dirigiert von Esa-Pekka Salonen fand] unter großem öffentlichen Interesse mit dem Los Angeles Philharmonic statt. So konnte für diese Ersteinspielung die überzeugende Premierenbesetzung genutzt werden, vorneweg der Bass Ryan McKinny als wuchtig-kolossaler Entertainer. Der agile Tenor Michael Fabiano mimt den aalglatten Zoologen. Plastisch zeichnet Dirigent Salonen die schablonenartigen Szenen nach, subtil gelingen den Sängern und Orchester ironische Sollbrüche, flankiert von beeindruckender kraftvoller Klangopulenz. Insgesamt ergibt sich ein sehr geschmeidiges Bild dieses imponierenden Livemitschnitts . . . [4. Symphonie]: Auch hier führt Salonen ruhigen Mutes durch die aufrüttelnde Partitur und formuliert Unaussprechliches.

. . . [der Schostakowitsch-Könner Esa-Pekka Salonen hält] sein ehemaliges Orchester zu einer so bruitistisch knalligen wie elegant flexiblen, dabei wie gemeißelten Interpretation an . . . [eine] programmatisch sinnvoll wie auch scharf klangziselierte [4. Sinfonie] . . . [Esa-Pekka Salonen] hat jetzt "Orango" mustergültig vitalisiert und befeuert.

. . . ["Orango"]: Ein echter Fund und eine gelungene Ersteinspielung . . .

Eine explosive Mischung ist dieser Live-Mitschnitt . . . das erhaltene "Orango"-Material ist ein Knaller . . . Das Los Angeles-Philharmonic unter Esa-Pekka Salonen musiziert kraftvoll und mit spürbarer Lust an der Neuentdeckung . . . Hervorragend ist das Sängerensemble . . . allen voran der stimmgewaltige Ryan McKinny . . . [Symphony no. 4]: Dirigent und Orchester werden beiden Seiten der Komposition gerecht, ohne je in wehleidiges Pathos zu verfallen. Ein Konzertmitschnitt, der kaum einen Hörer kalt lassen dürfte!

. . . [Symphonie no. 4]: Salonen souligne avec un réel sens de la couleur cette coulée incandescente aux grands gestes oratoires, aux subites transformations de texture, d'orchestration et de rythme.