For the third release in his Shostakovich symphony cycle, Valery Gergiev again couples two works from different stages in the composer s career. Although Shostakovich s symphonies are usually highly programmatic, the third and tenth symphonies are among his most enigmatic works. The third was first performed in January 1930, its final movement setting a text by Semyon Isaakovich Kirsanov praising May Day and the revolution. Shostakovich stated that the work, expresses the spirit of peaceful reconstruction, yet much of the music is dark and somber in tone. The tenth is one of his most popular and frequently heard works.
First performed in December 1953, the great Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya claimed that the symphony was, a composer s testament of misery, forever damning a tyrant.
Editor's Choice - ''This superbly recorded disc remains, for me at least, one of the few indispensable Shostakovich CDs of recent years.'' --Gramophone Magazine
''A winning Shostakovich disc from Gergiev and the Mariinsky... this is a very fine performance of the Tenth and probably as good a performance of the negligible Third as you're likely to hear... Gergiev's performance maps the eventful contours of this work [Symphony No 10] with great sensitivity. The melancholy first movement unfolds with a palpable sense of dread and sorrow, the second movement crackles with violent energy, and the third has all the sardonic wit of Mahler's night-music interludes. The last movement builds to its wild celebratory final pages with the proper sense of inevitability. Throughout, the Mariinsky players give their all, fired up no doubt by the presence of a live audience. This is a very, very fine Tenth Symphony, certainly among the best in SACD.'' --Audiophile Audition
''Gergiev works wonders with the Third... wonderfully expressive woodwind playing.'' --BBC Music Magazine