Notes & Reviews:
Shostakovich's monumental Symphony No. 10 ranks among his finest works. From the bleak introspection of the extended opening movement, through the graphic evocation of violence in the explosive Allegro, and the eerie dance-like Allegretto alternating between dark and light, to the final movement's dramatic climax, this is a work of breathtaking musical contrasts. In 2010 Vasily Petrenko was named Male Artist of the Year at the Classical Brit Awards. His Naxos recording of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 (8.572392), was hailed as 'yet another Petrenko performance to join the greats' (BBC Music Magazine).
"Petrenko and the RLPO have achieved a triumph. The orchestral playing is ripe, detailed, lithe, concentrated and intense. Petrenko has full measure not only of the symphony's overarching architecture but also of the individual facets that make it such a fascinating conundrum. It was the first significant orchestral work to emerge in the Soviet Union after Stalin's demise thus the work's equivocal implications have subsequently fuelled much debate. With the passing of time and a distancing from its troubled era, its stature as a monument of pure music has been strengthened. This is a terrific performance." -The Telegraph
"Throughout this performance the RLPO offers very fine playing. They face stiff competition in the catalogue from many of the world's leading orchestras but I don't feel they need fear the comparisons. Their playing more than holds its own in this company. As for their conductor, this release serves to add further lustre to his reputation, especially in Russian repertoire. Once again Naxos have provided recorded sound that combines punch, presence and ambience. The excellence of the package is completed by Richard Whitehouse's informed and informative notes. This is shaping up to be a distinguished cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies. Those who have started to collect the series should not hesitate to invest in this latest release while newcomers, as they say, should start here. Further releases are awaited eagerly." -MusicWeb-International
"Petrenko's Shostakovich cycle goes from strength to strength, and hardly any of the reservations I voiced over his Eighth apply to this profound and passionate account of No 10.
"Petrenko's masterly performance builds inexorably from the ruminating brooding of the low strings and lamenting wind solos to the most shattering climax, as the full orchestra erupts in howls of anguish and rage. His whipcrack tempo for the scherzo is one of the most menacing I can recall...A thrilling performance." -Sunday Times ****
"Petrenko's Shostakovich cycle goes from strength to strength...[his] instinct for pacing enables the power of Shostakovich's symphonic design to register to maximum effect. If there has been a finer account of the Tenth in recent years, I confess I must have missed it." -Gramophone Magazine
"Petrenko shapes the long first movement - nearly 23 minutes - very well, paying close attention to phrasing and emphases...The orchestra plays for all its worth at the climaxes...The 'Stalin' Allegro is as brutal as you will find anywhere, and there's plenty of excitement and wit in the Finale." -Classic FM Magazine ****
"Petrenko and his band show us that the music has greater timbral interest than we often imagine...there's barely a page of the symphony where we don't hear some telling orchestral detail...Solo work is subtle throughout, especially in the symphony's more introverted passages." -International Record Review
Manchester Evening News
Quality playing and Petrenko's own Russian soul
What many consider the Soviet master's greatest symphony gets its finest digital-era recording to date under the young Russian maestro, whose Shostakovich symphony cycle gets better with each new release.
Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra put tremendous emotional power and physical energy into this 2009 performance, and even though purists might prefer a full-blooded Russian ensemble playing this work, the musicians give it a passionate and insightful rendition. The reproduction is sharply focused and the orchestra is quite clear, whether in soft passages or in the most shattering climaxes.
Vasily Petrenko's Shostakovich symphony cycle is fast becoming something special. This 10th Symphony is not quite as formidable as his Eighth (interpretively or sonically), but it is certainly one of the best. No one rivals Petrenko's intensity in the second movement, and the critically important pounding timpani at the end are more clearly articulated than on any other recording.
The phrasing in this 10th is exquisite, the ensemble is very fine, and the musicality heartbreaking. The crazy Scherzo demonstrating equally crazy string section ensemble, woodwind solos galore that ache in intensity while played with grace and flawless intonation, and not forgetting the very powerful brass and percussion... this brilliant reading of the 20th Century's greatest symphony gets an equally amazing recording. Messrs. Walton and Rowlands capture the 'Phil' acoustics beautifully. The recording is tight as a drum - more controlled than strictured. It lets the listener hear the solos in a beautiful space and allows all the musicians to display the complete control that Petrenko elicits from his wonderful orchestra.
Otago Daily Times
This is a terrific performance, further confirming that this Naxos complete set of Shostakovich symphonies so far is very special in terms of interpretation, virtuoso playing and clarity of recording.
Recording information: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (09/11/2009-09/12/2009).
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Works DetailsShostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 10 in E minor, Op. 93
- Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
- Notes: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England (09/11/2009-09/12/2009)
- Running Time: 51 min. 27 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1953