SHOSTAKOVICH:  Symphony No. 1 in F, Op. 10.  Symphony No. 12 in D Minor, Op. 112 "The Year 1917"
Russian Federal Orch (Sym. 1); Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestre Berlin (Sym. 12)/Vakhtang Jordania, cond.
ANGELOK ANG CD 9916 (M) (DDD) TT:  70:00

SHOSTAKOVICH:  Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103 "The Year 1905."
Royal Philharmonic Orch/Vakhtang Jordania, cond.
ANGELOK ANG CD 9903 (M) (DDD) TT:  57:14

RACHMANINOFF:  Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Oop. 27.  TCHAIKOVSKY:  Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32.
Russian Federal Orch/Vakhtang Jordania, cond.
ANGELOK ANG CD 9929 (M) (DDD) TT:  69:31

Here's a relatively new quality mid-price label, at least judging by these three CDs.  Conductor of all three is Vakhtang Jordania, born in the Republic of Georgia. After winning a top prize at the 1971 Herbert von Karajan Competition, he studied with Mravinsky and came to the U.S. in 1983. Currently associated with the Russian Federal Orchestra of Moscow, Daegu City Symphony of South Korea and Kharkov Philharmonic of Ukraine, Jordania has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras. Apparently he has recorded rather extensively; these are the first I've experienced.

Two of these CDs include performances by the Russian Federal Orchestra which proves to be a first-class ensemble of sufficient size and virtuosity to do justice to Shostakovich's first symphony, Rachmaninoff second and Tchaikovsky's symphonic poem. Not a bit of Shostakovich's satire is missed, the grand moments of the final two movements are well captured. Rachmaninoff's symphony is a bit rushed for maximum effect, but Francesca da Rimini captures the score's passion with exciting climaxes. Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12, with its overall gloomy, depressive atmosphere, is one of the composer's most difficult for the listener, well played by the Berlin Orchestra. Jordania's Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic, is among top versions available.  You won't find the sensuous sounds of Stokowski's Houston recording or the intense dramatic power of Mravinsky, but this surely is among the finest recordings of the score.

These are all quite recent recordings.  Symphony No.11 was recorded in All Hallows Church in London May 7, 1999, produced by Jeffrey James, engineered by Erdo Groot.  Symphony No.1 was recorded in Radio Palace Hall, Moscow in February 2000, produced by Vitaly Panachenko, engineered by Nikolai Yudakov; Symphony No. 12 was recorded at the Berlin Radio in January 10, 2000, produced by Hein Dekker with Roger de Schot as audio engineer, Erdo Groot the balance engineer. The Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky works were recorded in Moscow with no date given, produced by Waldway Productions with Jeffrey James as "artistic producer." In spite of the varied producers/engineers, sonic quality of all three CDs is demonstration class, rich in textures and well-balanced with wide dynamic range. 

R.E.B. (December 2002)