Symphonies Nos 2 & 11
Valery Gergiev conductor
Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus
Total duration 76m07s
Catalogue number MAR0507
James Mallinson producer
Classic Sound Ltd editing & mastering
Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson audio editors
Recorded February 2009 and February 2010 at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
Sung in Russian. Libretto in Russian & English
Includes multi-channel 5.1 and stereo mixes.
Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке
'Performed here with total conviction... Gergiev captures its brooding majesty in a tense and involving performance, distinguished by the terrifying sound of the St Petersburg winds.' Financial Times
'Gergiev's account is simply hair-raising [Symphony No 11]. Even by today's high standard of orchestral playing, I suspect some orchestras would have trouble keeping up with Gergiev's driving, intense approach: the Mariinsky players stick to him like glue. This is the best-recorded traversal of Symphony No 2.' American Record Guide
‘Gergiev’s take on the infrequently performed Second offers a more compelling reason to add yet another symphony disc to their groaning shelves… What we have here is an attractively athletic performance of Symphony No 11… All in all, this is a most praiseworthy addition to the discography.’ DSCH Journal
Shostakovich's Second and Eleventh Symphonies are both inspired by Russian revolutions. The Eleventh Symphony, "The Year 1905", marks the bloody revolution of its namesake year. It is an astonishingly atmospheric symphony, of cinematic breadth, especially the second movement which depicts the Bloody Sunday massacre in St Petersburg.
Symphony No 2 was written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution. Though it is a much shorter work than the Eleventh, clocking in at less than 20 minutes, it is by no means any less dramatic. Although dismissed as an experiment by the composer later in his career, it remains an important step in the development of one of history's greatest symphonists. Here Valery Gergiev, along with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus, delivers definitive performances of both works.