Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
The second release in Valery Gergiev's Shostakovich Symphony cycle features Symphonies Nos 2 & 11. As with the first release in the series, which featured Symphonies Nos 1 & 15 and was nominated for two Grammy Awards, Gergiev conducts works from opposite ends of Shostakovich's career.
The Second and Eleventh symphonies are both inspired by Russian revolutions. The Eleventh Symphony, subtitled "The Year 1905" marks the bloody revolution of that year. It is an astonishingly atmospheric symphony, of cinematic breadth, especially in 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. At less than 20 minutes, it is a much shorter work than the Eleventh symphony yet no less dramatic. Although dismissed by the composer later in his career as an experiment, it remains an important step in the development of one of the greatest symphonists and both works receive definitive performances from the Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus.
"Gergiev delivers compelling account of the Second. His vast experience as an opera conductor plays real dividends in maximising the theatricality of the musical experience, painting the dark chaos of the opening and the surge of anarchic energy in the ensuing 13 part fugue in bold colours and exhorting the full-throated voices of the Mariinsky Theatre Choir to sing the unashamedly propagandist text with conviction and fervour." -- Gramophone [1/2011]
"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 (UK) [1/2011]
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Symphony no 11 "The Year 1905": II. The 9th of January: Allegro
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