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This review is from: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 (MP3 Download)
Shoshtakovich 4 is often talked about: it earned him a rebuke from the soviet authorities that could have been a one way ticket to the Gulags. However, having listened to this a few times (after a very long gap) I think that this is a very nice symphony, full of experimentation with novel orchestration. The Petrenko series with the RLPO is excellent and this performance is no exception. I would recommend this to anyone. There are some real gems in the symphony, not least the driving opening. I really like the extra fast string fugue in the middle of the first movement. This is not an avant guard piece: the language and idiom are all pure Shostakovitch and consistent with his later symphonies. Perhaps it is a little rambling in places and could have been edited down a bit. It is certainly in contrast to his much loved and very concise symphony 5, However, it is not so different to the 8th or 10th. I think all of the early Shoshtakovich symphonies (1-4) deserve more attention.