Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) & Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra
– Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 78:35 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,84 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,35 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 470 623-2
By its very nature, patriotism is vulgar: loud and proud, bombastic and sentimental, and wholeheartedly simple-minded. Or is that less a description of patriotism than a précis of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7? Written during the siege of Leningrad at the start of the Great Patriotic War, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar — critics at its American premiere savaged it for its banality — and incredibly effective. Its trite themes, its hackneyed harmonies, its straight-four rhythms, its primary color scoring, its “play it to the last row of the balcony” climaxes: all of these things are vulgar, but all of them are — in the right performance — overwhelmingly effective and altogether inspiring. In this performance by Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar and unbelievably loud, proud, bombastic, and sentimental. But it is also incredibly effective: the opening Allegretto is monstrously evil and absolutely devastating, the following Moderato is quiet but deadly, the following Adagio is heartbreakingly mournful, the closing Allegro non troppo is enormously celebratory, and the entire work is a colossal monument to patriotism. The conjoined Kirov and Rotterdam orchestras play with all the bloodthirsty enthusiasm of the Red Army taking Berlin in 1945, and Philips’ sound gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until the walls of the Reichstag come crashing down. Vulgar or not, this is as great a recording of Shostakovich’s Seventh as there has ever been.
01. Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 “Leningrad” – I Allegretto
02. Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 “Leningrad” – II Moderato (poco allegretto)
03. Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 “Leningrad” – III Adagio
04. Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 “Leningrad” – IV Allegro non troppo
Executive producer: Clive Bennett. Recording producer: Andrew Cornall.
Balance engineers: Philip Siney; Jan Stellingwerff (DutchView).
Recording facilities by Dutchview on behalf of Emil Berliner Studios.
Editing facilities by Emil Berliner Studios. Mixing engineer: Philip Siney.
Mixed and mastered at Classic Sound Limited. Mixed for SACD by Andrew Cornall and Philip Siney.
Recording location: De doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 19-21 September 2001.
Production co-ordinator: Alice Fields.