Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Gustavo Gimeno – Shostakovich Symphony No 1 etc – Suave and urbane
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No 1
Gustavo Gimeno; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Dmitri Shostakovich
The 18-year-old Shostakovich wrote of his First Symphony: “Not bad . . . although it really ought to be called a symphony-grotesque”. Valencia-born Gustavo Gimeno, music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg since 2015, is having none of it. He brings a kind of suave urbanity to the score, and his rounded view is emphasised by the often luxuriant sound of the recording. Even that old-time orchestral wizard, Leopold Stokowski, found more of youthful rebellion in his pioneering 1933 recording. But Gimeno makes his unorthodoxy plausible, as he does in the couplings, two early Scherzos, a set of variations and the Five Fragments, Op. 42.