This record should not work

Who, of right mind, would reduce a Shostakovich symphony to three solo instruments and percussion and expect the result to be musical?

Kolja Blacher, that’s who. His new release is my Album of the Week on Absolutely arresting. Click here.



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  • BTW has anybody heard the reduced force Mahler symphony transcriptions which are being performed ? OK they’re not as reduced as this DS#15, but it’s interested to hear that Universal Edition have sanctioned the Mahler as chamber symphony arrangements.

    • Were they arranged by Mahler or one of his contemporaries though?

      Derevianko’s DSCH15 arrangement was approved by the composer, and NL is right, it works brilliantly. (I’m not sure where Kolja Blacher as arranger comes into this, by the way.)

  • The Mahler symphony transcriptions (1, 4 , 5, 9 to date I think) are by Klaus SImon and are for seriously reduced forces.

  • Hate this ridiculous dwarfing of masterly orchestration.Please don’t give us Mahler 6 for piccolo,piano,harmonium,viola,cowbells and hammer next!

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