Shostakovich: Symphonies 8⁠–10

Shostakovich: Symphonies 8⁠–10

Shostakovich is not a composer the Berlin Philharmonic has regularly recorded, so this new album of Symphonies Nos 8, 9 and 10 is warmly welcome. Taped with a limited audience during the Covid pandemic, the Philharmonic’s chief conductor Kirill Petrenko combines a riveting precision with expressive intensity in his interpretation of the expansive Eighth Symphony. The succinct Ninth has plenty of crisply sardonic woodwind commentary, as in the brilliantly played third movement while the Tenth packs a formidably powerful punch, especially in a highly charged account of the second movement “Allegro.” In truth, it’s doubtful if there are better played performances of any of these symphonies on record, and Petrenko’s consistently cogent view of the music compels attention.

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