This is the second release in a major series of recordings by Semyon Bychkov and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln for Avie, following their Avie debut, a Richard Strauss album featuring Ein Heldenleben and Metamorphosen (AV 0017).
Russian-born Bychkov’s affinity with Shostakovich is well documented, his performances and recordings of his compatriot’s works widely acclaimed. This release raises the profile of this internationally-renowned conductor-orchestra team to new heights, and constitutes the first in a series of recordings of Shostakovich’s Symphonies.
"... a fine reading of a great if flawed work, which I feel will win over many of those listeners who may have found the piece somewhat indigestible in the past. While losing none of its drama, Bychkov brings a tautness to the whole work which is thrilling and bracing. And the playing is, as emphasised above, simply terrific."