8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I haven't heard all his Shostakovich recordings, but this one of the Leningrad is simply stunning. In my experience, eight out of every ten peformances of this rousing war symphony are boring beyond belief; they allow the piece to drag on for eighty minutes and is it any wonder some people still snub what is actually a thrilling orchestral work whose merits are above and beyond (mere) propaganda.
No-one gets to the heart of the Leningrad like Jarvi. His RSNO recordings tend to be wonderfully vivid and energised and here they come pouring in to what is an ardently dramatic and emotionally expressive recording, awesomely powerful throughout but especially in the brassy outbursts of the outer movements. Chandos has done them proud and this must be reckoned the first choice for the Leningrad as the centenary approaches.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2002
I first bought this Symphony on tape format, and it has become one of my favourite classical pieces. From the beginning, you are immediately hooked - the repeated march of the 1st movement is absolutely out of this world. The middle two movements offer some respite, yet when the breaks come in these movements again you have the impression of a master conductor at work; Jaarvi's interpretation of the third movement alone is amazing. The build up to the final movement is suspenseful in the extreme, climax builds upon climax, until you can feel the composer's elation that "at last the enemy has been finally routed; Leningrad is at peace again".
Shostakovich wrote this symphony quickly as the city of Leningrad was being pounded by siege gun during WW2, after the dynamic 25 minute first movement (which represents the invasion)the remaining movements offer consolation, the final movement "joy and adulation, the war is over".
I could listen to this Symphony again and again, it is just absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2015
I'm in total agreement with the other reviewers that this recording by Neeme Jarvi and the Scottish National Orchestra is outstanding. In fact it must be one of the finest versions of Shostakovich's powerful 7th Symphony [The Leningrad]. In the booklet that accompanies this cd there is a very interesting photograph. It shows Neeme Jarvi and his son Paavo [now a conductor] and the great composer himself Dmitri Shostakovich. Not only did Neeme Jarvi know Shostakovich he knew fine well how to perfectly interpret his Symphonies. Plus, this very recording of the Leningrad Symphony is dedicated to another great Shostakovich interpreter Mravinsky. When Neeme Jarvi was music director of the SNO in the 1980s they recorded most of the Shostakovich Symphonies for Chandos. Along with the 10th and 8th, the 7th symphony is among the best they did. The power and strength of the SNO's playing is amazing and the Chandos sound engineers are the icing on the cake. I have also had the good fortune to see Neeme Jarvi and the RSNO perform the Leningrad Symphony live in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It was one of the greatest concerts I have been too and another reason I recommend this great recording. Please consider it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2013
Talking about "modern" ore recent rendition of this overwhelming symphony, I think that the chandos cd conducted by Jarvi is among the best. Fast tempi but full of details; excellent orchestra; great recording. Together with the Jansson from Amsterdam with Concertgebouw, it is my favourite. To be preferred instead of the new and disappointing recording by Petrenko (lost is, or it seems to be, the perfection of is Shostakovich' Tenth)