Shostakovich Symphony No 4

Cat No:
01 - 10 - 2013

Shostakovich Symphony No 4

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko (conductor)

Completed in 1936 but withdrawn during rehearsal and not performed until 1961, the searing Fourth Symphony finds Shostakovich stretching his musical idiom to the limit in the search for a personal means of expression at a time of undoubted personal and professional crisis. The opening movement, a complex and unpredictable take on sonata form that teems with a dazzling profusion of varied motifs, is followed by a short, eerie central movement. The finale opens with a funeral march leading to a climax of seismic physical force that gives way to a bleak and harrowing minor key coda. The Symphony has since become one of the most highly regarded of the composer's large-scale works.

Shostakovich Symphony No 4 in C minor Op 43

Running time: 1 hr 5 min

Naxos Podcast: Vasily Petrenko on Shostakovich's 4th Symphony

Recording of the Month (Gramophone)
'Perhaps the best of Petrenko's much-praised cycle, then, and a strong contender for 'best in catalogue'. The skewed logic of the piece is made gripping, the disparate and the enigmatic reconciled' (Gramophone)
'Petrenko's exhilarating and powerfully emotional performance maintains the high standard of earlier instalments of this remarkable cycle' (The Sunday Times)
'Haitink has acknowledged that the Fourth ''is a difficult work to handle and has to be kept on a leash''. Petrenko echoes that view in this performance; the proportions and sometimes wild discourse are held in perspective. But it also tempers punch with sensitivity' (4 STARS The Daily Telegraph)
'the Liverpool players get around the enormous technical challenges with great verve, and the self-destructive climaxes are never shirked. But there's a brittleness to how Petrenko treats some of the episodes...Much of his reading, though, is spot-on' (4 STARS The Guardian)