A 50-CD set of legendary recordings celebrating the world-renowned Decca Sound. Classic-status pioneering stereo recordings from the past 60 years and starring a galaxy of internationally-acclaimed artistic talent.
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.
At its première in June 1969 Shostakovich described his Symphony No. 14, in effect a symphonic song cycle, ‘a fight for the liberation of humanity…a great protest against death, a reminder to live one’s life honestly, decently, nobly…’ Originally intending to write an oratorio, Shostakovich set eleven poems on the theme of mortality, and in particular early or unjust death, for two solo singers accompanied by strings and percussion. This is the penultimate release in Vasily Petrenko’s internationally acclaimed symphonic cycle.
Herbert von Karajan's digital recording of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony (the only one of the cycle that he committed to disc) is now issued to mark the Shostakovich centenary in 2006.
Andris Nelsons is one of the most sought-after young conductors on the international scene today and once again served notice of his extraordinary talent in Summer 2011 when he conducted two concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam at the prestigious Lucerne Festival.
"Symp 15: Very good performance. A lot of character in I, darkness in II. III is devilish. IV is very powerful, with chilling final percussion chatterings. Sanderling's stereo SA-CD is very good, but the sound isn't as good; Fedoseev's SA-CD has character, but Kitajenko has better sound and performance." ~sa-cd.net
"Moving, intelligent, and sometimes powerful singing by the bass soloist throughout. Good chorus. Chimes are chillingly reproduced, as are some of the other percussion effects (for instance the woodblock in "In the Store"). Excellent tuba playing in "Fears"." ~sa-cd.net
"Full and rich start. Slight transient noise from left front in first movement, about 3 minutes in. Horns at start of IV lack a little nobility, but otherwise performance is excellent throughout; timpani in IV, starting about 6'20", are thunderous." ~sa-cd.net
"Beautiful, full rich string sound, and great sound overall. I is fantastic. II is slightly slower than I prefer (about 4'30"), but Kitajenko does very well with it, sustaining tension throughout. III is terrific; you can hear and feel the soft percussion toward the end. IV again has a slightly slower basic tempo than usual, but tension is sustained throughout, and the playing responsive." ~sa-cd.net
"Beautiful, full rich string sound, and great sound overall. I is fantastic. II is slightly slower than I prefer (about 4'30"), but Kitajenko does very well with it, sustaining tension throughout. III is terrific; you can hear and feel the soft percussion toward the end. IV again has a slightly slower basic tempo than usual, but tension is sustained throughout, and the playing responsive." ~SA-CD.net