I now own six versions of the Shostakovich 5th symphony, including Gergiev, Rostropovich with the NSO, Solti with the Vienna, Bernstein live with the NYP, and Haitink with the Royal Concertgebouw (in ascending order of preference). I now have a new favorite in this Temirkanov recording with the St. Petersburg Phil. Not just its novelty recommends this recording, but the superbly good playing (despite being a live recording!) and certain interpretive choices by the conductor. Two of these choices stand out: 1) the slight pause that occurs about 13 minutes into the first movement - utterly transforming!; and 2) the pacing of the finale, which struck me as laborious on the first hearing but monumentally satisfying on the second. This is a Russian reading! with a depth of tragic feeling often left unexplored in the West. The explosive audience response at the end speaks considerably to the heart. Despite the merits of this 5th, the seldom heard 6th symphony was the reason I purchased this disc. My collection of Shostakovich symphonies is at last complete, and, my gosh, what a capstone! Though I have not heard much about the 6th, I must say I find it deeply moving - far more profound than the 2nd or 3rd, and easily the equal of the 10th. I am frankly surprised it is not recorded more often.
The sound on this disc is quite good. The big horns sound resonant and profound and there is a good mix of ambience and presence not always achieved on live recordings. Highly recomended.