This may not be the most harrowing version of the Eighth, but of its type it's unquestionably a great performance. Often this symphony consists of hair-raising climaxes interspersed between acres of nothingness. Not here. This symphony also is one of Shostakovich's most formally masterly and imaginative, and this performance reminds us in the most compelling way. Petrenko's flowing tempos in the first movement and passacaglia keep the music moving, not lurching, forward at all times. The 25 minutes of the first movement seem to pass by in half that time. Its opening threnody in particular has even more expressive power than usual for being phrased in long melodic arcs that never turn static. Read more
After an aptly gawky scherzo, the toccata is as brilliant and menacing as any (with a dashingly militant central section), but it's the finale that really sets the seal on this performance. The Eighth always is a tough piece to project convincingly, but Petrenko is at his absolute best here, pacing the music perfectly and timing the climax in such a way that (for once) it doesn't sound like a less impressive recapitulation of the first movement--and this isn't because its previous occurrence is underplayed in any way. Excellent playing from all departments of the orchestra plus vividly natural engineering complete what is easily the best installment of this ongoing cycle to date.
Symphony no 8 in C minor, Op. 65by Dmitri Shostakovich Conductor:
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1943; USSR
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
My favoriteMay 19, 2013By Mary Lynn H. (San Antonio, TX)See All My Reviews"This is my favorite version of this symphony. I really like the Mravinsky performance (who wouldn't he premiered it.) but this has superior sound and a terrific performance. I cant recommend this more highly. That said; this has got to be the standard performance for me."Report Abuse