1 800 222 6872

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 8 in C minor, Op. 65
Conductor Ensemble
  • >

Notes & Reviews:

A third of a century after his death the symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich have moved to the absolute centre of the repertoire. Written during World War II, the unusually constructed Eighth Symphony is a powerful work built on striking contrasts between music which is at times unremittingly bleak and at others brutally intense. The predominantly slow opening movement, punctuated by a terrifying central crescendo, is followed by a scherzo of savage parody. At the heart of the Symphony a second fast movement builds remorselessly to a shattering climax over pounding timpani. The rapt, largely introspective fourth movement, Largo, leads straight into the last movement, Allegretto, which seems to reach out for hope in an uncertain world. Vasily Petrenko's acclaimed interpretations of Shostakovich's Symphonies No. 11 (8572082) and Nos. 5 and 9 (8572167) are also available.

"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...it's the finale that really sets the seal on this performance...Petrenko is at his absolute best here...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." - Classics Today (10/10)

"There are the makings of a great interpretation here, and at bargain price the disc is clearly recommendable...excellently recorded." -Gramophone

"Yet another Petrenko performance to join the greats." -BBC Music Magazine

"...a magnificent, penetrating performance...Petrenko inspires the RLPO to a manner of playing and a level of emotional involvement of extraordinarily potent atmosphere, strength and poignancy...The performance is gripping and has all the hallmarks of a best-seller." -The Telegraph *****

"Petrenko confirms his credentials as perhaps the outstanding Shostakovich interpreter among the younger generation of Russian conductors with this expansive and penetrating account...This is a bargain version to stand beside the best that money can buy and an ideal introduction to one of Shostakovich's most shattering scores." -Sunday Times ****

"The way Petrenko follows the finale's course away from its central confrontations towards its exhausted, wary truce rings as true as in any recorded version I can recall. So there are the makings of a great interpretation here, and at bargain price the disc is clearly recommendable." -Gramophone Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (04/06/2009/04/07/2009).


A youthful, insightful and exuberant Shostakovich 8th
Shostakovich is a giant of a composer, arguably the greatest composer of the 20th century, certainly one of them. When one considers that his entire creative life was spent under the crushing oppression of the Soviet system, his achievements are doubly impressive. The 8th Symphony is a magnificent, intensely dramatic work composed during World War II. Why this work is rarely to be found on concert programs in lieu of yet another performance of the Beethoven or Brahms symphonies is incomprehensible to me. Yes, it is a bit more difficult to program a 62 minute work, but as in the case of Mahler's great symphonies, it can be done. This NAXOS CD with Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is, in a word, outstanding. Petrenko captures the angst, the hysteria, the tragedy, and the hope of this war inspired music brilliantly. And the orchestra is more than up to the task. Whether you are new to the Shostakovich 8th Symphony or you already have this symphony in your collection, this modestly priced CD is a must. It is a first rate performance of a great work.
Submitted on 07/12/10 by Leni Bogat 
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 8 in C minor, Op. 65
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Notes: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (04/06/2009/04/07/2009)
  • Running Time: 61 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1943