Warner Classics has released a new recording of Kurt Weill’s Symphony No.2 (Fantaisie symphonique). This release is especially noteworthy in that its conductor, Lahav Shani, is not only one of the most exciting young talents in the classical music world but also one of the most ardent champions of the work. Shani’s description of it as “one of my favorite pieces to conduct with orchestras across the world” is backed up by frequent performances in his busy guest conducting schedule. This new recording, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which he serves as Chief Conductor, preserves now his insightful and deeply felt interpretation for a broader audience.
Here are some samples of critical praise for the new recording:
“A fabulous opportunity to hear Kurt Weill’s Second Symphony from young conductor Lahav Shani, partnered with a dramatic reading of Shostakovich Symphony No 5.”
“Lahav Shani delivers a reading of Weill’s Symphony No. 2 with full attention to its details and narrative qualities; he captures all its colors and nostalgic vigor. Under his galvanizing direction, the Rotterdam Philharmonic displays exemplary technique.
“The Israeli pianist and composer is a rising star in the cosmos of music . . . His great achievement lies in showing us the extent to which both compositions [Weill and Shostakovich] are anchored firmly in the European tradition while giving full due to the subtle ways in which they call it into question. Outstanding work.
“This new version surpasses those of Bertini, Nagano, de Waart, Beaumont, among others, even Jansons with the Berlin Philharmonic. Shani’s recording is now standard, and even that doesn’t say enough about the high level of his account of the work, or about the acclaim this young conductor inspires.”
“A beautiful discovery, captured in fresh, sharp and contagious playing.”