Valery Gergiev gives the Fifth an admirably direct, clean performance full of excitement and intensity. He builds the first movement's central climax with unerring skill, makes due allowance for the Scherzo's ironic humor without overdoing it, and paces the great Largo just about as well as anyone ever has. He treats the finale as an unambiguous triumph, with crushing bass drum and timpani, and throughout the Kirov Orchestra gives a 100 percent effort. In sum, this is a very good rendition of an oft-recorded classic. It doesn't quite plumb the emotional depths in the way that Rostropovich, Sanderling, or Bernstein have, but I can't imagine anyone being disappointed.
The performance of the Ninth is more individual, inRead more that Gergiev takes a very laid-back approach to the first movement, giving the woodwinds plenty of room to grunt and squeak, and then considerably picks up the pace in the remainder of the work. The central scherzo has particular brilliance and impetuosity. It seems to me that a touch more precision from the strings would have given the music just that much more character, but as a conception this works quite well. In both cases, Philips provides vivid, up-front sonics that don't really offer a natural picture of what these players sound like live--but that's not necessarily a bad thing when the result has such physical impact in all other respects. Good stuff.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47by Dmitri Shostakovich Conductor:
Kirov Theater Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1937; USSR Date of Recording: 06/30/2002 Venue: Live Martti Talvela Hall, Mikkeli, Finland Length: 47 Minutes 58 Secs.
Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70by Dmitri Shostakovich Conductor:
Kirov Theater Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1945; USSR Date of Recording: 05/2002 Venue: Live Mariinsky Theater, St Petersburg, Russia Length: 25 Minutes 45 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Gergiev Rules!November 26, 2012By James Kendall (PETALUMA, CA)See All My Reviews"This is one of my all-time-fave recordings. I once had more of Gergiev/Shostakovich, but had to trade them in when poverty dictated. Those days, I'd felt I really was experiencing the destitution remarked upon in these pieces. Shostakovich composed these while under the, Dangerous, yoke of Stalin. I don't feel qualified to go into the minutiae of those politics, which are reflected in these works. The very good liner-notes can shed some light on the dramatic issues that went into shaping these symphonies. Worth the admission, alone, are the authentic Stalinist-wartime graphics that come with the CD. Precious. Again, in my estimation, this is another example of a conductor/band excelling in interpretation of works indigenous to themselves. Valery Gergiev/Kirov Orchestra, Know Russia; and do it justice herein. Strident, erratic, forceful; yet imbued with a drive-to-survive. Next time you think your pizza was delivered with not enough pepperoni; listen to these and awaken!"Report Abuse