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Arthur Lintgen
Fanfare, November 2019

The Malmö Symphony Orchestra plays the program well…

This is a reasonably good collection of Kabalevsky’s well orchestrated but lesser-known music… © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, November 2019

The excellence and joy of this release hits one right out of the box. Colas Breugnon is a five-minute 1938 bundle of energy, and Naxos has captured the perfect soundstage for it. The Pathétique Overture, written 20 years later, sounds almost as enjoyable and is composed to sound just like it.

Darrell Ang gets it all just right. … The punch and immediacy of his performances stands out, as does the virtuosity of the Malmö Symphony. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, November 2019

…Oue’s German NDR Symphony, with its warm strings, blended brass, and straightforward woodwind sound versus Ang’s Swedish group, which is clearer in texture, brighter in tone, and staffed with more colorful woodwinds. Oue’s readings are broadly taken, warm, and blended; Ang’s are more cleartoned, detailed, and brighter, with much stronger and more distinct bass. Ang’s portrait may stylistically be closer to what Kabalevsky is about. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Àngel Villagrasa Pérez
Ritmo, November 2019

A well-packed string, a decisive transverse flute and precise pizzicati in the second movement of the Second Symphony are some examples of the good work of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, under the watchful direction of Darrell Ang. © 2019 Ritmo

Phillip Scott
Limelight, October 2019

Two colourful Soviet symphonies strut their stuff.

Kabalevsky wrote four symphonies: his impressive 50-minute Fourth Symphony demands revival. Here we have his First Symphony (1932), a strong, fully mature work with considerable dramatic punch. Symphony No 2 (1934) is even more assured. The clear influence of Tchaikovsky has become better integrated, and Kabalevsky’s textural clarity (always a feature of his orchestration) is outstanding.

…Darrell Ang keeps the vigorous Malmö orchestra on its toes, and Naxos’ sound is excellent. © 2019 Limelight Read complete review

Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, September 2019

The Second Symphony in C minor (1934), which was championed by, among others, Toscanini and Malcolm Sargent, has two upbeat outer movements, at times presaging Colas Breugnon’s rhythmic sleight of hand, and between them an Andante non troppo. This central panel throws up divergent interpretative points of view. In the pairing of the same two symphonies by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Loris Tjeknavorian sees this Andante as a grief-laden, angst-ridden threnody, adding three minutes to the timing adopted by the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Darrell Ang, where the atmosphere is more reflective, more lyrical though no less emotionally forceful. This is an observation rather than a criticism; but in terms of orchestral polish and recording quality the Malmö pairing is superior. More than that, Ang and the orchestra touch the music’s nerve and animate it compellingly. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Hurwitz, August 2019

…Darell Ang and the Malmö forces play with verve in all of these works, and the performances convince—even in the Pathétique Overture… © 2019 Read complete review

William Kreindler
MusicWeb International, August 2019

Darrell Ang is a talented and prolific young conductor. … Ang makes a strong case for the Symphony No. 2, with great attention to orchestral detail and excellent tempi. Even better is the Pathétique Overture; indeed, this is the best recording I have heard of this piece. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, August 2019

The Malmö Symphony Orchestra, under energetic young Chinese conductor Darrell Ang, give a smashing account of themselves in a program of music by the Russian composer Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904- 1987). These performances capture the vaunting energy, drive, and vivid scoring of the composer’s music. © 2019 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, July 2019

The First Symphony was composed in 1932 and the Second in 1934. Both works, like the brilliant Colas Breugnon and Pathétique overtures, are solidly crafted and brilliantly orchestrated. The fast movements are very virtuosic, the slow ones appealingly melodic. Darrell Ang’s conducting focuses on orchestral brilliance and rhythmic conciseness, so that we can hear a welcome program with truly exciting music. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review

Records International, July 2019

These symphonies are still rarely recorded! Dating from 1932, Kabalevsky’s first symphony is a two-movement work celebrating the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution which depicts the downtrodden Russian people in its anguished, brooding first movement and the revolutionaries in its complex, agitated and jaunty finale. From 1934, the second symphony has no program but, as with all of the composer’s orchestral works, is direct, diatonic, rooted in Russian folk music, showing wit, humor and unpredictability. © 2019 Records International

Classical Music Daily, July 2019

I am pleased to see this interesting disc, as it showcases an important composer from the Soviet era. © 2019 Classical Music Daily

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2019

There was a time when the overture to Dmitry Kabalevsky’s opera, Colas Breugnon, was often heard in concert halls, but like most of his music it has fallen from favour. He was one who managed to avoid the wrath of the Communist regime in his long twentieth century life, writing in a style that avoided any conjecture, his two symphonies from 1932 and 1934 rejecting atonality, and remaining in the popular style of the late nineteenth century. He then added brevity as a further safeguard, the First Symphony, in two movements, lasting around twenty minutes, with the Second in three movements, but not that much longer. Maybe the later one did risk a rather more caustic climate in the mood of Prokofiev, and after a contemplative Andante second movement, the finale of the Second symphony, marked Prestissimo scherzando, sizzles with activity and creates a mood of optimism. The disc is completed with the Pathetique Overture that comes from 1960, by which time he was writing little for the concert hall, concentrating on small scale compositions. Quite short, it belies its name with its boisterous and outgoing nature. With the dearth of Kabalevsky orchestral recordings in the catalogue, this is particularly welcome, the Malmo Symphony, conducted by Darrell Ang, are in fine form, and the engineers providing a very wide dynamic. Unreservedly recommended. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, May 2019

Ang’s performance of the overture is lively… Revisiting it, I can see why the Italian conductor liked it: it’s mostly a rhythmic piece, built around rapid syncopated phrases with lots of orchestral color. It’s a good “pops” piece but by no means a great composition.

The second symphony is more abstract in its themes and construction, though using similar driving rhythms. … Ang’s conducting is pretty much spot-on, bringing out several salient details in the orchestration and providing a good driving rhythm… © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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