"Järvi takes exactly what many listeners now consider to be the right approach in current perceptions of the work: that is to say, lean, sinewy and free of bombast"
Another incredible short review about our latest release with Paavo Järvi and Russian National Orchestra 'Shostakovich - Symphony No.7' from Barry Forshaw. This review is available online on Classical CD Choice UK.
How do you solve a problem like Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony? The reputation of the piece has, of course, varied wildly across the years, from its initial massive acclaim in the West to the routine dismissal of what was seen as its banal first movement (parodied by Bartok in his Concerto for Orchestra). Now the dust has settled, we can see it as one of the composer’s most substantial works, if not in the class of his fifth or tenth symphonies. The work needs careful advocacy – along with an important decision regarding conceptual approach. How to treat that relentless first movement with its unvarying side drum? Unsurprisingly Järvi takes exactly what many listeners now consider to be the right approach in current perceptions of the work: that is to say, lean, sinewy and free of bombast — but never at the expense of the sheer overwhelming force of the music, which is always given full measure in this remarkable reading. Swifter than most (it is accommodated on a single disc), this performance is accorded one of PentaTone’s most wide-ranging recordings, and the sheer impact of the climaxes is nigh overwhelming.