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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7- Leningrad
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7- Leningrad


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Audio CD, May 28, 2013
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7- Leningrad + Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 + Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Composer: Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (May 28, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00BX8TZM2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,413 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Three weeks after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Shostakovich volunteered with the Home Guard in Leningrad. As the siege of the city intensified, he worked on his Seventh Symphony, completing three movements before being forced to leave Leningrad and travel east by train. The work was completed in December that year. Initially he gave each movement a programmatic title, but later withdrew them, leaving this epic work as an emblem of heroic defiance in the face of conflict and crisis: 'I dedicate my Seventh Symphony to our struggle against fascism, to our coming victory over the enemy, to my native city, Leningrad.'

Review

'The playing is not only well drilled throughout the four movements, it is also steeped in atmosphere that evokes a whole spectrum of emotions that seem to come as close to the nub of what Shostakovich was experiencing and voicing through his music as it is possible to be. While we all hear this symphony in our own ways, Petrenko's vision of it is thoroughly compelling.' --The Telegraph

Petrenko's Shostakovich cycle already is one of the best out there, but this release really puts the seal on his achievement. This is absolutely essential, and as I said, it's exceptionally well recorded to boot. --David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday 10/10

A conductor who can make Shostakovich's vast, vulgar Seventh Symphony as moving and impressive as Vasily Petrenko makes it has an understanding of this music at the absolutely highest level. --Mark Estren, InfoDad

Customer Reviews

The two interior movements are as amazing as the outer ones.
Benjamin R. Garrison
With everey disk release by Nazxos, I am pleased with the sound SXhostakovich's music is enjoying, and this one may be the best of the lot, thus far.
TONY L. ENGLETON C.N.M.T.
Though the programmatic elements of this work are hotly debated, Petrenko's crafting of this performance makes a strong case for a narrative.
Hank Attaway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hank Attaway on June 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Thirty years ago, Naxos Records shocked the classical music recording industry by releasing low-cost discs of standard repertoire by relatively unknown orchestras and conductors. Its business practices earned it a substantial market share, with millions of CD sales and an online digital library second to none. Today, Naxos CDs are still a fraction of the cost of their name brand competitors; however, in what appears to be an image shift, they are no longer relying on lower profile artists. Albums such as Shostakovich Symphony 7 by Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic are helping to reshape Naxos into the very kind of label it competed against in the 1980's. Even the famous simple white cover art, that has been in use for thirty years, was scrapped in favor of a stylish red sleeve, illustrating that Naxos is making a push to re-brand itself as a new cool industry leader.

Petrenko's expertly paced interpretation allows the symphony to unfold like a well-executed drama. Though the programmatic elements of this work are hotly debated, Petrenko's crafting of this performance makes a strong case for a narrative. His rendition of Symphony No. 7, as well as other staples from the Russian repertoire, has earned him acclaim as a master interpreter. This recording makes it clear why Petrenko has been scooping up the highest awards in classical music (Gramophone Classical Recording of the Year 2009, 2011).

His proficiency on the podium is matched by the competence of the RLPO. From the opening notes of the first movement, it is easy to ascertain that this is an ensemble of the highest caliber. The strings play with a brilliance typically reserved for brass. Hauntingly beautiful wind solos, a dazzling brass section, and rock solid percussion complement them.
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Format: MP3 Music
Vasily Petrenko's supporters call him the greatest young conductor in the world, and there aren't many serious rivals for the title. Trained in the rigorous system of Russian musical education from a very young age, his talent represents the best of post-Soviet culture. He has an inbred reverence for Shostakovich, which makes the ongoing cycle from Liverpool exciting. I only wish that the "Leningrad" Sym., the longest that Shostakovich wrote (Petrenko's timing is 79 min.), wasn't poised precariously between inspiration, empty rhetoric, and patriotism. Despite its dedication to Russian heroism in a battle that Shostakovich knew personally, major chunks were already written before the finished symphony became movingly associated with the terrible siege of Leningrad and its mass of starving victims.

For a decade and a half after its wartime premiere, Sym. #7 was relegated to obscurity in the West, with Leonard Bernstein almost a lone voice to defend it. But Petrenko treats the score seriously, even reverently. To be frank, unless the "Leningrad" is given an exceptional reading, such as the two that Bernstein recorded, its dross can't be turned into gold, and the egregious "Nazi march" deserves the lampoon that Bartok delivered in the Concerto for Orchestra. But if it is sometimes brass-plated junk, there are long stretches of the symphony, mostly the quiet, somber ones, that strike a sympathetic chord.

Unfortunately for Petrenko, he doesn't have a world-class orchestra at his disposal, and the Mariinsky Orch. in their recent release under Valery Gergiev soundly outplays the Royal Liverpool Phil., with better engineering giving the score an epic dimension and Gergiev himself applying more authority, which isn't to deprive Petrenko of many exciting moments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Oscar O. Veterano on June 25, 2013
Format: Audio CD
SHOSTAKOVICH ; Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad" NAXOS

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, has issued an exciting new rendition of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7.
Also called the Leningrad, this music was written under extreme duress, while the composer was serving in the Home Guard, fighting the Nazis, at the Battle of Leningrad.

This is a clear and precisely balanced recording, brilliantly conducted and performed, of music that still sounds urgent and intensely modern, while remaining accessible and emotionally involved.

In fact, this sense of humanity and involvement is why this music continues to be relevant today; those who tend to stay away from serious 20th century music under the mistaken impression that it's all bleak, 12 tone alienation are in for a surprise upon hearing Shostakovich's 7th.

Highly recommended 9 out of 10 Oscar O.Veterano
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Format: Audio CD
Considered by almost everyone to be one of the true bright lights of the young conductors today, Vasily Petrenko, chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and chief conductor designate of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra continues to gather kudos from around the world, especially for this traversal of the Russian repertoire and the symphonies of Shostakovich in particular. In October 2007 Vasily Petrenko was named Young Artist of the Year at the annual Gramophone Awards, and in 2010 he won the Male Artist of the Year at the Classical Brit Awards. In 2009 he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University, in recognition of the immense impact he has had on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the city's cultural scene. And it is with this orchestra that he impresses with this stunning interpretation of the Symphony #7 `Leningrad' of Shostakovich. Petrenko is a regular guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (his performances of the Shostakovich 10th and of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony have been season landmarks).

Though the aura surrounding the 7th symphony is fairly well known, it bears reiterating. Three weeks after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Shostakovich volunteered with the Home Guard in Leningrad. As the siege of the city intensified, he worked on his Seventh Symphony, completing three movements before being forced to leave Leningrad and travel east by train. The work was completed in December that year.
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