"a performance that grips at every moment, with orchestral playing to match. Composed in 1943, and an overwhelming human document of what such wartime suffering must feellike, this symphony may well be Shostakovich’s greatest. An unmissable bargain."
Classic FM Magazine - July 2005
"The performance is one of the finest I have ever heard of anything. But take care, this CD should have a public health warning - don’t listen unless you are in good heart and emotionally strong ... No one understands this political psychosis better than Mstislav Rostropovich. Shostakovich has an awesome ability to grasp a high concept and unfold it powerfully and Rostropovich’s capacity to open it up and characterise it is astonishing ... I spilt coffee all over my shirt listening to that! The emotion is raw and real. Compared to others this is a recording that has all the difference between looking at a photo of Antarctica and actually walking out on the icepacks. Something tragically dangerous was given voice that night at the Barbican and is now bottled up, none to safely I imagine, on this LSO Live CD. I simply can’t imagine how Rostropovich generates so much energy or indeed how the players cope."
BBC 3 CD Radio Review
"Recordings like this don’t come along very often. Buy it. When you throw in the fact that LSO Live has captured thisin recorded sound that supersedes even their finest previous efforts, you are left with a disc which is among the finest of this - or any - year ... no devotee of great orchestral music will want to miss this valedictory performance ... a release that combines a great performance of one of the twentieth century’s most important pieces of music with a state-of-the-art recording. Bravo to everyone involved on this project: Rarely has the music lover been served so well by a commercial recording"
Musical content 100%
Recording fidelity 100%
High Fidelity Review - November 2005
"All the searing intensity, perceptiveness and magnificent playing that made this such a memorable performance survives on this recording. No one has a more intimate knowledge of Shostakovich’s musical psyche that his long-time friend Rostropovich and that insight exudes from every pore of his interpretation ... this must surely be the benchmark for this shattering work."
Daily Telegraph - 2 July 2005
’Rostropovich really nails the meaning of the Eighth so completely that this new release is easily recommendable as a first introduction to the music ... Rostropovich brings an intensity to the music ... The LSO plays magnificently, the brasses astounding in their power and accuracy. Woodwind solos are gorgeously realized.’
Fanfare, September/October 2005
Fanfare - September/October 2005
"Anyone present at Barbican Hall last November knows what a moving performance of this symphony Rostropovich and the LSO delivered. Rostropovich and the LSO dig deep into its turbulent emotional world ... This is a great account of a great symphony, vividly recorded ... an irresistible bargain, too"
CD of the Week
Sunday Times - 26 June 2005