This record should not work

This record should not work


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2015

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.




  • Boring Fileclerk says:

    This sounds fascinating. Will explore purchasing the album. Thanks!

  • Mark Stratford says:

    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.

    • Dave says:

      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.)

  • Nigel C says:

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

  • harold braun says:

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