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Chang Tou Liang
The Flying Inkpot, November 2004

"Dmitry Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic take a few minutes longer than the Slovaks, but manages to sound much less bloated and sluggish. As a performance on disc, it gives stiff competition to some of the best in the catalogue at this price range. ... The Russian Philharmonic manages to generate a massive bloc of sound, and much credit will go to the brass section, which produces some of the fiercest snarls to be heard on disc. ... Bearing in mind other fine budget-priced recordings of Leningrad (notably Paavo Berglund on EMI Classics and Mstislav Rostropovich on Warner Apex), this is one recording I shall be returning to quite often."

Gramophone, April 2004

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Robert Matthew-Walker
Musical Opinion, January 2004

"This new version...possesses an almost indefinable but nonetheless genuine sense of style. This remains a first-class release, which is fully recommended."

David Hurwitz

This is a surprisingly fine performance of the Leningrad Symphony. Dmitry Yablonsky and his orchestra barely put a foot wrong, and the only quibble I might have with the execution stems from the fact that the Russian horns (typically) are much weaker than the air-raid siren trumpets and trombones. Still, the first-movement battle sequence seldom has sounded more clearly or more powerfully, with a hugely impressive build-up to its tragic climax. Yablonsky wisely opts not to drag out the second-movement scherzo, and this makes an excellent foil for his grave account of the Adagio. The finale, also somewhat measured in pace, has the same virtues as the first movement regarding the intensity of its climaxes, and the closing pages in particular rarely have registered with such a simultaneous combination of sheer volume and musical transparency.

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