Barshai won numerous Soviet and international competitions and was the founding violist of the Borodin Quartet in 1945. In 1955, he founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, which he led and conducted until he emigrated to the West in 1977. Shostakovich called it “the greatest chamber orchestra in the world”.
Barshai was a skilled re-interpreter and arranger of music and it’s possibly the former skill, presenting music in fresh ways, that gives this CD its sparkle.
The works on here include music by Albinoni, Vivaldi and Russian favourite Telemann, as well as Handel.
If you’re new to “classical” music and want something that’s pleasant but not too bombastic, this is well worth looking at, created as it is by one of the greats. It’s on Melodiya: (MELCD 10 02191).