Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is one of Valery Gergiev's finer performances on disc. His rhythmically taut, propulsive conducting makes for a powerful rendition of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony--one that is strongly argued and purposefully projects the work's grand, dramatic sweep. Like Rostropovich, Gergiev successfully delineates the music's varied emotional states, vividly communicating its euphoria, melancholy, and despair, but also its defiance and determination. Gergiev is greatly aided by the combined forces of the Kirov and Rotterdam orchestras, which offer enthusiastic and deeply committed playing--and generate some exceptionally voluminous climaxes (although Bernstein makes even more noise with only one orchestra, namely the Chicago Symphony on his
stunning DG recording).
Of course, it's not possible to tell from an audio-only presentation just how the orchestral duties were apportioned, but you do hear an extra phalanx of brass suddenly appear as the first movement's juggernaut abruptly changes key, and also in the closing passages of the finale. The wide-ranging recording captures the huge sonic mass of the combined orchestras as well as the character of the highly reverberant venue. In fact, the reverberation works against the sound in some tutti passages, where you occasionally hear what first appears to be distortion, but actually turns out to be the harsh clashing of echoes and re-echoes (perhaps the multi-channel SACD version will resolve this issue). No matter, this recording (which was made in conjunction with live performances by the assembled forces) makes for a uniquely enthralling experience of Shostakovich's grand wartime symphony.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 7 in C major, Op. 60 "Leningrad" by Dmitri Shostakovich
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,
Kirov Theater Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1941; USSR
Date of Recording: 09/2001
Venue: Live De doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Length: 78 Minutes 50 Secs.
Symphony No.7, Op.60 - "Leningrad": 1. Allegretto
Symphony No.7, Op.60 - "Leningrad": 2. Moderato (poco allegretto)
Symphony No.7, Op.60 - "Leningrad": 3. Adagio
Symphony No.7, Op.60 - "Leningrad": 4. Allegro non troppo
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