6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the version of the 5th I have been waiting for...,
This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 9 (Audio CD)
Over the years, I've listened to many versions of the 5th and felt unsatisfied. Could it be that Shostakovich's attempt to write a symphony which was designed to please Stalin have resulted in an inhibition of the creative process, or was it that the recordings I'd heard failed to do the work justice? Or was it just that I had a blind spot where this work was concerned? Somehow I felt that the symphony was indeed one I should respond to and that it was just hadn't found the right version. I subsequently purchased a lot of recordings trying to find that ideal performance - Haitink, Berglund, Ashkenazy, Bernstein '79, Jarvi, Dmitri Shostakovich, Stokowski - without success. Finally I took a chance with this inexpensive Naxos release, which received a generally positive response from the critics.
Well, Rahbari's performance is rather good. There is drama in the first movement, excitement and irony in the second, and a thrillingly optimistic conclusion to the finale. Most importantly, the third movement is projected with incredible atmosphere and deep emotion. The orchestral playing is extremely good and the quality of the recording is excellent. This version is the one that I will always turn to when I want to hear the 5th Symphony.