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on 20 May 2014
This is probably my least favourite Shostakovich symphony and it is really a song cycle purporting to be a symphony. The bass singer however is excellent and truly authentic sounding. The soprano, a last minute substitute apparently, becomes very shrill in places and would be more suited to operatic roles. Petrenko is reliable as ever but is overshadowed by previous exponents of this difficult work - the likes of Bernstein, Barshai and Rostropovich. The performance is not gripping enough to compensate for the short measure this disc provides. Surely some appropriate makeweights could have been added.
Perhaps I am too enamoured of the song cycle of Mahler (Das Lied) that is really a symphony - magical and stimulating in a way this Shostakovich to me simply is not.
Now let's hear Petrenko in the 13th - Babi Yar - now that really is more to my liking.
He will have trouble however living up to the drama and pathos both Barshai and Kondrashin found in the 13th. I will doff my cap to him if he succeeds.