Notes & Reviews:
Valery Gergiev and the acclaimed Mariinsky Orchestra continue their Shostakovich symphony cycle with an emotionally-charged performance of the composer's seventh symphony. Shostakovich dedicated his Symphony No.7 to the defiance shown by the citizens of Leningrad in the face of Nazi totalitarianism. Despite the widespread reassessment that has since taken place regarding the inspirations for his symphonies, the "Leningrad" symphony remains a highly-potent symbol for the residents of modern-day St. Petersburg. Previous releases in Gergiev's Shostakovich cycle have received two GRAMMY® award nominations, as well as Chocs from Classica magazine (France) and Editor's Choices from Gramophone magazine (UK).
Gergiev certainly knows how to get what he wants, and his dedicated Mariinsky forces are with him every step of the way.
American Record Guide, May/June 2013
I've heard a lot of Leningrad Symphonies in my time of reviewing Shostakovich for ARG, and this recording is one of the best. The recorded sound, from concerts in the acoustically excellent Maryinsky Concert Hall last June, certainly is better. Shostakovich's orchestration certainly benefits from the extra scope offered by the higher-resolution of SACD sonics. The sound here is distinctly more spacious, without the hard edge and opacity of the Philips. And Gergiev's interpretation seems better planned, more cogent, less hectic than the earlier one.
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