Symphonies Nos 4, 5 & 6
Valery Gergiev conductor
Total duration 135m
Catalogue number MAR0545
James Mallinson producer
Vladimir Ryabenko editing, mixing & mastering
Recorded June 2012 & June 2013 at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке
Performance (Nos 4 & 6) ***** (No. 5) ****
Recording ***** ‘Gergiev’s relatively manic pace in these latter movements creates a suitably febrile atmosphere.’ BBC Music Magazine
***** ‘Gergiev excels in this repertoire, and this is shaping up to be the most vital Shostakovich cycle of the 21st century.’ Classical Music Magazine
‘Taken as a whole, this sequence of three symphonies covers a narrow but critical period of Shostakovich’s life. However, Gergiev prefers to stick to the music itself, rather than trying to play up any biographical connections, encrypted or otherwise. The result is a set of performances that give a faithful account of what Shostakovich wrote while leaving the listener to form his/her own interpretative associations.’ Examiner
‘After spending so much time listening to Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 4, 5 & 6, I’m still in awe of the Mariinsky Orchestra’s knack to not only perform this music immaculately but also get out of its way and let the human conditions shine forth. We cannot allow ourselves to take recordings like this for granted.’ PopMatters
Valery Gergiev continues his acclaimed Shostakovich symphony cycle with his sixth release, a 2-SACD set of three consecutive symphonies: numbers Four, Five, and Six. Shostakovich symphonies are often emotionally powerful and the three symphonies performed here are a particularly compelling and riveting combination.
Without doubt, the tortuous difficulty of adhering to vaguely articulated political dictates shaped the evolution of Shostakovich’s music. Yet it is his sophisticated employment of musical codes that enabled him to maintain his creative integrity. There is no better illustration of his ability to tread a fine line between acclamation and condemnation with the skill of a tight-rope walker than the experience he faced during the 1930s, the period when he composed his Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies.