Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More superb Shostakovich from Petrenko

From June 15, 2011:


The Naxos series of Shostakovich symphonies with Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic goes from strength to strength. I was mightily impressed with the most recent releases, symphonies 8 and 10.

The First Symphony is an amazing achievement for a teenager, but we're down a level in terms of the composer's inspiration from those great, mature works, and then down another level in the Third, an experiment which doesn't quite come together. But Petrenko and his Liverpool orchestral and choral musicians make the best possible case for both works. And both are certainly worth the time to listen to, and listen closely.

The musicians are ably supported, as usual, by the Naxos production team. The Shostakovich symphonies are one of the 20th century's great artistic accomplishments. Vasily Petrenko and Naxos may be this century's best guide to the series.

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