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Shostakovich: Symphony No.8 - Yevgeny Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic

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Shostakovich Symphony No.8

Leningrad Philharmonic
Yevgeny Mravinsky

Catalogue Number: ALC 1150
Number of Discs: 1
Date/Runtime: 61:13, 1982 ADD

Mravinsky’s live recording of the Eighth is of capital importance, since it was he who gave the work its premiere ….It is a performance of extraordinary vehemence and power, vivid contrast and bitter intensity. The curdled woodwind dissonances and huge climaxes of the first movement are given a shocking force not simply by sheer volume but by ….playing at the very limit of their powers: it is not often these days that we hear a clarinet or an oboe played so loudly ….. The fact this is a concert performance increases one’s respect for the risks taken: to expect trombones to play staccato at the furious tempo Mravinsky chooses ….is really living dangerously, but they respond superbly, as do the belligerently precise trumpets ….. a performance which sees clearly that the real burden of emotion here lies in the strings …..for a recapturing of the appalling shock this work must have caused (the Russians were expecting a “Victory Symphony”), Mravinsky’s account demands to be heard: the Leningrad audience is struck dumb by it.”

[1] i. Adagio 25.15 [2] ii. Allegretto 6.21 [3] iii. Allegro non troppo 6.25 [4] iv. Largo 9.51 [5] v. Allegretto 13.18

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