Yuri Temirkanov live at Verbier Festival

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Shostakovich
LABELS: Ideale Audience
WORKS: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
PERFORMER: Verbier Festival Orchestra/ Yuri Temirkanov (Verbier, 2009)


The chance to watch veteran Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov in such a great masterpiece as Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony shouldn’t be passed up lightly. Indeed this performance, recorded live at the Verbier Festival in 2009, has many of the virtues that one might expect from an interpreter of this stature.

Particular highlights are the brooding bass-rich sound that Temirkanov draws from his young orchestra in the epic opening paragraph of the first movement, the controlled anger and brutality of the scherzo, the expert changes of gear and tempo which he secures in the ensuing Allegretto and the convincing transition from the gloom of the slow introduction to the Finale with its unbuttoned mood in the Allegro.

For the most part here the Verbier Festival Orchestra follow Temirkanov’s demands to the letter, offering some particularly distinguished contributions from solo flute, oboe and clarinet. It’s a pity that at one point in the third movement coordination between the violins and the rest of the orchestra is slightly adrift, and the acoustics of Verbier’s Salle Médran tend to create a raw rather than refined orchestral sound. 

Apart from two sections in the first movement where the screen is split into two, showing both the gesture of Temirkanov and the wind soloists, the production is largely conventional but manages to convey the obvious enthusiasm and commitment which was generated by the occasion.


However, I can’t help feeling that the overall impact of this release would have been much enhanced if the DVD  had also included at least some footage of Temirkanov rehearsing this symphony with his players. Erik Levi