Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 (The Year 1905)

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COMPOSERS: Shostakovich
WORKS: Symphony No. 11 (The Year 1905)
PERFORMER: Leningrad PO/Yevgeny Mravinsky
CATALOGUE NO: PR 254018 ADD (1967)
Those who remain unconvinced by the cinematographic longueurs of Shostakovich’s epic Eleventh Symphony should certainly hear this compelling performance, thankfully captured for posterity courtesy of Czech Radio. Unlike his 1957 recording, Mravinsky here asserts complete authority over proceedings; the frozen stillness of the opening ‘Palace Square’ movement has never sounded more impressive, and the work’s numerous raging climaxes create an absolutely overwhelming effect. Indeed, such is the power of the playing that it is easy to forgive the rather strained sound quality in the loudest passages, and a rather clumsy tape edit between the second and third movements. Erik Levi