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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4
 
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4

1 Oct 2013 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
27:17
30
2
9:19
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28:08


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Oct 2013
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2013 Naxos
  • Total Length: 1:04:44
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00FEYCR30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,169 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mondoro TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was recorded immediately after the live performance at the Philharmonic Hall on February 7th this year. Like the recent 'Leningrad' symphony release, it captures much of the atmosphere of the concert performance itself.

As usual, Naxos has provided detailed analytical, as well as background, notes, so it is only necessary to mention some highlights in this version. First, the very clear recording, bringing out Petrenko's attention to detail in the many sections where Shostakovich thins down his orchestration to chamber music proportions and allows gentler instruments such as the orchestral harps to stand out. Secondly, some outstanding contributions from section leaders: the first bassoon and trombones were the stars of the show in the live performance for their solos in the finale's quasi-scherzo section, and much of which of this is conveyed here. Thirdly, the Phil's upper strings, which meet the challenge of that physically demanding fugato in the first movement (5'15") and come out with flying colours.

Petrenko's interpretation of this massive work catches much of its kaleidoscopic nature, seemingly formless and ever changing, but in reality highly integrated and the work of a composer who knows exactly where he is going. The last eight minutes of the score, from what the CD notes rightly terms the 'granitic chorale' on brass, through to the chilly intensity of the final pages with their celesta chimes leaving the listener looking out into the abyss are memorably delivered here.

While not displacing older classic interpretations (e.g. Previn and Rozhdestvensky) this Naxos release has the advantage of superior sound, and clarity that enables one to admire Shostakovich's skill as orchestrator as well as composer.

Naxos has very speedily released this CD and collectors following this cycle will hope for a similarly quick release of the final works, the 14th; and the 13th (performed last week at the Phil).
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Here's a new way to hear the fearsome, relentless Shostakovich Fourth, thanks to an inventive talent. Since he auspiciously began a Shostakovich symphony cycle for Naxos, Vasily Petrenko, now 37, has risen considerably in the world to be recognized, as he fully deserves to be, among the young luminaries of the podium. His bargain cycle parallels a much more high profile, high powered one by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orch. (it is divided between older recordings on Philips and newer ones on the Mariinsky Theater house label). It's impossible to detract from Gergiev's authority in this music, and for me his Fourth Sym. set a new standard among modern recordings, even though it has been followed by a spectacular one from Salonen and the L.A. Phil., on DG.

Petrenko would seem to be at a disadvantage with a lesser - although very good - orchestra of non-Russians, but he has successfully erased any trace of English reticence from their playing, and his musicians adore him. What enables him to go head to head with Gergiev and Salonen is the kind of inventiveness that reveals the Fourth in a new light. You hear this in the stinging first bars, which are then not followed, as usual, by brutal Machine Age clanging. All but x-raying the score, Petrenko phrases the first movement's episodes (this is the most unpredictably episodic of all the Shostakovich symphonies, defying easy consistency) with quiet attentiveness. He doesn't bluster or exaggerate. This is testimony to the fact that he has assimilated the score and understands it from the inside.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hemsworth on 30 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful recording of Shostakovich's 4th symphony and it captures, in full-bodied clarity, superlative orchestral playing of a mighty score. Bravo! indeed to all concerned.
Every one of the many, shifting moods of this symphony are captured and characterised, the brutal (how wonderfully hammered and shrieked out in the opening), the lyrical and the mysterious. So many details of this complex score are brought out as if the work were brand new. I have listened to many recordings of this symphony, many of them extremely fine, and this one stands out in every way. There are so many characterful and beautifully played solos (bass clarinet, trombone...) and the famous frantic fugal passage for the strings in the first movement is terrifying. I am in awe of the the whole cycle so far (only 13 and 14 to go) and all at bargain prices: they would be worth collecting at full price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. R. Boyes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Nov 2013
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Petrenko’s Shostakovich symphonic cycle with the RLPO has been much lauded to date and I’ve certainly enjoyed a number of the series with a few being outstanding. Some of the symphonies have been less well served than others in Petrenko’s approach but it’s fair to say that the RLPO have sounded outstanding throughout, thanks in part to his efforts and the excellent sound engineering from Naxos. The musicians themselves, of course deserve great credit.

Once again the playing here is wonderful and the level of detail picked out is quite extraordinary at times. So regardless of how the conductor interprets the piece this was always going to sound great. The series as a whole has been pretty good but has had a tendency to emphasise shape, detail and architecture at the expense of the more visceral, expressive and theatrical moments: this was always likely to be an issue with the remarkable Fourth where the form of the opening movement plays hide and seek with sonata form and the finale is a complex web of vignettes. It is Mahlerian indeed but reflects the age of cinema; a moving montage with many effects intended to be theatrical and unnerving.

The result is that Petrenko takes rather a staccato approach to the opening movement and manages to make the more aggressive passages seem surprisingly lightweight. The shrill opening doesn’t grab the throat in the way that Daniel Raiskin’s excellent version does or the conductors who were close to the composer, like Barshai and Kondrashin. It’s as if Petrenko wants to continue the glib, slightly facetious Shostakovich of the Second and Third symphonies in this opening movement.
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