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Shostakovich: Symphony No 4 / Chung, Philadelphia Orchestra

Release Date: 04/09/2002 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 447759   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recorded in 1994, his Shostakovich Fourth is all that exists of what originally was announced as a complete cycle with Chung. Frankly, I don't know anyone who cares about this guy playing Shostakovich, so it's perfectly understandable that DG got out of the deal at the first opportunity, but the prospect of hearing the Philadelphia Orchestra in this music (it made the premiere recording with Eugene Ormandy for Sony, and that's still a reference edition of the symphony) certainly should whet music lovers' appetites. Indeed the orchestra is the real hero of this release, along with the superb engineering.

Chung's contribution consists largely of playing the symphony quickly, and what little personality he brings to the party
Read more (such as the underplayed, rushed brass chorale climax to the finale, with its indistinct timpani ostinatos) won't endear him to fans of the work. But the playing as such is so magnificent, with brilliant brass, devastating percussion, scorching strings in the first movement "fugue from hell", and delicious winds in the central scherzo and "ballet suite" opening chapters of the finale, that the significance of Chung's "interpretation" simply dwindles to irrelevance. DG's fabulous sonics, with a huge bass extension and optimal clarity, allow you to revel in the sheer aural spectacle of this strangely compelling symphony. So DG was right to cancel Chung's Shostakovich (and probably everything else too), but I'm glad to have this all the same.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 43 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, PA 
Length: 60 Minutes 33 Secs. 

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