The Naxos [recording of Symphony No. 9]…is wonderful; light and cheerful, but somehow innocent and less ‘jaunty’—instead very musical and humorous, with no exaggeration and gorgeous sound and strings. The final march is very heady.
Both in the hushed intensity of the lyrical passages and in the vigour and bite of Shostakovich’s violent Allegros Rahbari’s reading is most convincing, with dramatic tensions finely controlled in a spontaneous-sounding way. In No.9 Rahbari opts for a controversially slow Moderato second movement but sustains it well, and the outer movements are deliciously witty in their pointing. The playing of all sections is first rate, and the sound is full and brilliant. An outstandingly generous coupling makes this a most attractive issue, even with no allowance made for the very low price.