Shostakovich: Symphony No 8
Mstislav Rostropovich conductor
Disc of the Month BBC Music Magazine
CD of the Week Sunday Times
Classical CDs of the Year'this must surely be the benchmark for this shattering work' Daily Telegraph
Although it was written at a time of great optimism in the Soviet Union with the Nazis in retreat, Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is imbued with a deep sense of sorrow and fear of the future. Whereas the authorities expected a victorius anthem, Shostakovich appeared too affected by the bloody cost of the war. Mstislav Rostropovich again proved that no other conductor is able to so intimately understand the feelings of his dear friend.
'Rostropovich's revelatory Eighth ... Last year Shostakovich's champion and friend raised the LSO to extraordinary heights of inspired playing ... a truly great performance ... even he [Rostropovich] must have been amazed and moved by the playing of the LSO. You can only sit and wonder whether, in terms of pity and terror, musical expression could possibly go further'
Disc of the Month
BBC Music Magazine
Classical CDs of the Year
'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
'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.'
'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.'
'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
'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 Radio 3 CD Review
'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
Mstislav Rostropovich conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
James Mallinson producer
Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineer
Recorded November 2004, Barbican, London
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
Notes in English/en français/auf Deutsch
Catalogue number - LSO0527
UPC - 822231102724