SHOSTAKOVICH Chamber Symphonies / Barshai, Kremer 4775442
Two reissues in DG's two-CD series merit attention. One collates the 1989/91 recordings Rudolf Bashai made, with the Chamber of Orchestra of Europe, of his Shostakovich quartet arrangements. String-orchestra versions of Nos. 8 and 10 are no more than expertly crafted renderings of essentially private music; but that of No. 3 tellingly points up the work's symphonic aspirations and No. 4 provocatively brings out its harmonic and rhythmic grounding in Jewish sources. What makes the reissue indispensable is Viktor Derevianko's chamber transcription of the Fifteenth Symphony, made soon after the 1972 premiere and exposing its often skeletal 'through-line' to unnerving effect. Gidon Kremer directs Kremerata Musica in this 1995 account, with Schnittke's Prelude in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich a pungent makeweight. Essential listening.