‘Why Shostakovich?,’ Petrenko asks himself. ‘Because he is from Leningrad and it’s my hometown. Whenever I am conducting his music I see pictures of my city.’
Vasily Petrenko began his journey with Shostakovich’s Complete Symphonies in 2006 when he was appointed principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (he became chief conductor in 2009). Since committing himself to the project, his partnership with the orchestra for these recordings (and others) has garnered wide acclaim, including from BBC Music Magazine critic David Nice who said of the recording of the Fourth Symphony: ‘Since Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpudlians haven’t disappointed in any instalment of their Shostakovich cycle so far, the chances were they would excel here. And they do.’
‘To work with the orchestra for such a long-term project is a very special moment,’ says Petrenko. ‘You can create better understanding of the style and better feeling for this music.’
Below you can watch an exclusive video in which Petrenko discusses reaching the final volume of his recordings of the Complete Symphonies.
Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 is out on 29 September on the Naxos label. Find out more about Petrenko’s journey with Shostakovich’s Complete Symphonies in our November issue.