Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
Dimitri Shostakovich (Composer)
Vasily Petrenko (Conductor)
Royal Liverpool Philarmonic Orchestra (Orchestra)
Audio CD (2010)
Number of Discs: 1
SPARS Code: DDD
This performance goes right to the top. Not since the amazing mono Ancerl recording has there been a version of this work of such intensity, such expressive urgency, and (yes, believe it or not) such incredible orchestral playing. It's impossible to praise the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic enough: they put their London colleagues to shame. The cellos and basses have a dark, tactile presence in pianissimo not heard since the old Kondrashin Melodiya recording. The horns play the daylights out of their solos in the first and third movements, while Petrenko has the violins sustaining, articulating, and phrasing the climax of the first movement with a passion and grit that's beyond praise.
Indeed, as an essay in Shostakovich conducting alone this performance deserves an honored place in every collection. Petrenko has the players digging into the second movement with unbridled ferocity at an ideally swift tempo. He ferrets out every subtle detail of scoring in the crepuscular Allegretto while never permitting the music to drag. His finale has just the right manic high spirits, and he clarifies the DSCH motive in the timpani at the end better than anyone else ever has. It's all captured in gloriously vivid, present sonics by the Naxos engineers. Thrilling, perfect, essential--a magnificent achievement and hands down the modern reference recording.