- Symphony No. 3 in E flat major (The First of May), Op. 20 - Dmitry Shostakovich - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vasily Petrenko - Anastasia Belina - Semen Isaakovich Kirsanov
- Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 - Dmitry Shostakovich - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vasily Petrenko
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 'The First of May'by Vasily Petrenko
Even though Dmitry Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 1 in F minor" was an academic exercise from his teens, and the "Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, (The First of May)," a reflection of the avant-garde experimentation of the early Soviet period, these youthful works reveal salient characteristics of his personality that repeatedly surfaced in the later symphonies and… See more details below
Even though Dmitry Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 1 in F minor" was an academic exercise from his teens, and the "Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, (The First of May)," a reflection of the avant-garde experimentation of the early Soviet period, these youthful works reveal salient characteristics of his personality that repeatedly surfaced in the later symphonies and should be considered as fully a part of the cycle. Shostakovich's expressions range from sardonic and brooding moods in the "First" to the energetic and violent activity of the "Third," and these qualities are accurately conveyed in Vasily Petrenko's performances with the Royal Liverpool Orchestra, with the ensemble's choir included in the triumphal finale of the "Third." The recordings have a wide audio range, so the extreme dynamics of Shostakovich's music can be heard with minimal adjustment of the volume. That said, much of the music is extremely quiet and eerily thin in texture, so attentive listening is required. But the fortissimos are everything they should be, and Petrenko elicits full sonorities from the orchestra. Naxos provides fine reproduction, so even in the softest passages, everything is clean and focused with natural resonance. Purists may only want their Shostakovich played by a Russian orchestra, but this is a perfectly admirable album that most listeners will appreciate.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsVasily Petrenko Primary Artist
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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.
This album was really excellent! Such a brilliant production. I especially loved the rise and falls of both the dynamics, the tempo and the overall emotion of the pieces. I highly recommend this album.