Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 4, 5, and 6 – Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev continues his acclaimed Shostakovich symphony cycle with this sixth release, a two-SACD set of three consecutive symphonies. The symphonies of Shostakovich are often emotionally powerful and the three symphonies performed here make a particularly compelling and riveting combination.
Without doubt, the tortuous difficulty of adhering to vaguely articulated political dictates shaped the evolution of the music of Shostakovich. Yet it was his sophisticated employment of musical codes that enabled him to maintain his creative integrity. There is no better illustration of his ability to tread a fine line between acclamation and condemnation with the skill of a tightrope walker than the experience he faced during the 1930s, the period when he composed his Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth symphonies.
"... The SACD sound is impressive in its projection of the depth and subtlety of the orchestra’s playing. Details are beautifully captured without sticking out garishly- it’s all there but part of the larger whole, like tiles in a mosaic..."
Lawrence Hansen - American Record Guide - November/December 2014
"...he [Gergiev] and his St Petersburg forces are often on compelling form; this new Fourth, especially, is worthy of anyone’s attention. This mariinsky cycle is consistently proving one to be reckoned with."
Mark Pullinger - International Record Review - September 2014
Performance (No 5) **** (No’s 4 & 6) ***** Recording *****
Daniel Jaffé - BBC Music magazine - September 2014
"Viscerally exciting performances of three of Shostakovich’s best-known symphonies which hold their own in a very crowded field. The fourth and sixth symphonies especially brood impressively, coming blazingly to life when adrenaline is called for. Gergiev excels in this repertoire, and this is shapingup to be the most vital Shostakovich cycle of the 21st centuary." *****
Guy Weatherall - Classical Music magazine - July 2014