Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 9

 “…Petrenko's interpretation of the Ninth unleashes the full ferocity of threatening developments and proves that the Moderato, however spare, remains as eloquent a slow movement as any in Shostakovich's works. Superb playing all round, too, not just from the spotlit bassoon in the crucial recitative but also from first oboe, piccolo and the pairs of subtly phrasing clarinets. In the Fifth Symphony, the principal flautist is representative of Petrenko's care in making sure every phrase sounds absolutely right for the context...” --BBC Music Magazine, December 2009

 “Petrenko's… Fifth is remarkable for the tight discipline and detailed characterisation of musicians plainly on the up. The five-movement Ninth has sufficient energy and muscle to make it more than a mere divertissement. …Petrenko takes his time with the second movement, imparting almost too much aching reflectiveness, notwithstanding the loveliness of the playing. ...a whizzing Presto, demonstrating just how far the RLPO's corporate virtuosity has developed in a relatively short time. The finale puts on a cartoonish burst of speed at its pompous apex. Though you may not like this or that effect, the performance as a whole is deft and undeniably persuasive.” --Gramophone Magazine, December 2009

“Petrenko’s strategic planning pays off with terrific tension, frightening crescendos and sharply defined emotional moods...The slow movement shivers in desolation. In the finale, woodwinds bring tendrils of hope; then comes the moving, contemplative coda. The series’ best release so far.” --The Times, 2nd May 2010 *****

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