Symphony No 8
Valery Gergiev conductor
Total duration 65m38s
Catalogue number MAR0525
Vladimir Ryabenko producer
Vladimir Ryabenko engineering & editing
Vladimir Ryabenko Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd mastering
Recorded June 2011, May 2012 & March 2013 at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes.
Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке
**** Performance ***** Recording 'Gergiev is especially convincing in his shaping of the large-scale architecture of the huge first movement and the fourth movement's passacaglia, one of Shostakovich's most profound essays in that form: we are really made to feel its imposing architecture and sense of root-and-branch organic growth… He's assisted by top-notch playing from the Mariinsky Orchestra (the cellos and basses are superb, and the solo trumpet in the third movement's demonic gallop is first-class), in a gloriously full-bodied SACD recording.' BBC Music Magazine
****½ 'Gergiev's tempi for each of the symphony's five movements are expertly conceived. The immense tri-partite opening movement builds quite slowly, but with an inexorable trajectory, and the feeling of uneasy calm before the gradual journey to the movement's shattering climax is palpable. The power of the relentless snare drum, howling horns, piercing woodwind and characteristically baleful Russian brass make the contrast with the disconsolate cor anglais solo and desolate final pages all the more poignant… this performance is more than worthy of attention from prospective purchasers and makes one eager for the rest of this compelling cycle to appear.' SA-CD.net
**** 'The performance here on the Mariinsky label is first rate. Conductor Valery Gergiev gets a thrilling performance out of the Mariinsky Orchestra… If you like Shostakovich, but haven't heard the 8th, you are in for a treat. If you have heard it, this excellent performance is worth seeking out.'
'Valery Gergiev continues his much-acclaimed Shostakovich symphony cycle with this weighty and colourful (if unyielding) account of the Eighth Symphony. There is, of course, no conductor in the world today who conducts as much of the music of Shostakovich, and Gergiev bids fair to be the most authoritative voice among the composer's spokesmen.' Classical CD Choice
'This is the fifth release in Valery Gergiev's on-going cycle of Shostakovich symphonies with the Mariinsky Orchestra and is arguably his finest performance since Symphonies 1 and 15 were released in 2009… this performance is more than worthy of attention from prospective purchasers and makes one eager for the rest of this compelling cycle to appear.' Classical CD Review
With more experience conducting Shostakovich than any of his contemporaries, Valery Gergiev is one the world's leading authorities on the great Russian's repertoire. Here Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra continue their Shostakovich symphony cycle with the release of the Eighth Symphony.
The Eighth Symphony is imbued with a deep sense of sorrow and fear, widely considered to be one of the composer's finest scores. The Soviet authorities expected a victorious anthem in light of the Nazi retreat, but Shostakovich appeared too affected by the casualties and ruin of the war to produce anything like a celebratory composition.