_Mariinsky Label: Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 1 & 15
Valery Gergiev conductor
Performance ***** Sound ***** BBC Music Magazine
Disc of the Week Sunday Times
‘The orchestra under Gergiev is terrific. Doom laden brass, jaunty woodwind and clattering percussion all come together with total conviction’ Daily Telegraph
Over 45 years separate the composition of Symphonies Nos 1 and 15 and yet both exude creativity and Shostakovich’s dark wit. The First Symphony owes much to the influence of Shostakovich’s Russian predecessors including Tchaikovsky and Scriabin. However it also reflects contemporary artistic life and the optimism of the early years in the Soviet Union. By contrast the final symphony is a more bitter work, drawing on many of the themes that recur throughout Shostakovich’s career and yet never resorting to melodrama.
- Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 1 & 15 (pdf, 3082kB)
'Gergiev’s pairing of Shostakovich’s first and last symphonies makes great sense considering the many thematic cross-references they share. The performances show the conductor at his feverish, insightful best’
‘This superb pairing of Shostakovich’s first and last symphonies demonstrates both how astoundingly precocious the composer was and how face he came in 45 years’
‘The orchestra under Gergiev is terrific. Doom laden brass, jaunty woodwind and clattering percussion all come together with total conviction’
'Gergiev's performance of the 15th sounds the valedictory culmination of his symphonic life's work - deeply moving .. These works are meat and drink for Gergiev's outstanding Mariinsky players'
Disc of the Week
'By emphasising the playful exuberance of Shostakovich's writing, Gergiev discovers a middle path that brings these two symphonies closer than one would have through possible. The result is a tour-de-force of recreative bravado, into which the Mariinsky Orchestra throws itself with alacrity.'
Classic FM Magazine
'impressively recorded in the sumptuous acoustics of the new Mariinsky Concert Hall'
BBC Music Magazine
'To hear Shostakovich's first and last thoughts in the symphonic genre so closely juxtaposed is fascinating ... Gergiev leads a passionate account of the First Symphony, all violins soaring and brass blazing, and totally persuades the listener of Shostakovich’s contrasting subtlety in the slower moments. The conductor seems to understand instinctively where Shostakovich is looking knowingly to the past and when he's breaking out in a new direction and the insight brought out of the score is inspiring ... The future titles in the series are well worth looking forward to'
Valery Gergiev conductor
James Mallinson producer
John Newton and Dirk Sobotka engineers
Recorded July 2008, Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
Notes in Russian (Cyrillic), English, French and German.
Catalogue number - MAR0502
UPC - 822231850229