- Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minorby Ladislav Slovak
Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 4" is perversely enigmatic despite its broad scale and large forces, a personal work cast in a gigantic form that the composer attributed to "grandiosomania." Completed in 1936, it was not performed until 1961, held back because its daring content surely would have provoked Soviet ire. Listeners today can easily understand Shostakovich's reasons for withdrawing it from performance. Sardonic and spiky, the Allegretto poco moderato lasts close to a half hour. After the declamatory opening, it is dominated by fragmented melodies, mocking fanfares, pounding chords, and intensely wrought counterpoint, with emphasis on minor second clashes. The frenzied fugue after the 15-minute mark is a high point of this sprawling movement. Compared to the Allegretto, the Moderato con moto seems brief, a waltz that disconsolately meanders and passes through a serious contrapuntal treatment only to find its end in parody. The Largo introduction to the finale is an openly Mahlerian funeral march, and the Allegretto that follows starts with a danse macabre. The movement grows into bewildering complexity and volatile mood changes, yet ends as it began with more pointed references to Mahler. The Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, directed by Ladislav Slovák, gives the symphony a solid reading, faithful to the score and confidently played.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsLadislav Slovak Primary Artist
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