Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 10

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Shostakovich
LABELS: Sony Essential Classics
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 10
PERFORMER: Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
CATALOGUE NO: SB2K 62409 ADD (1963/70)
Ormandy was a shrewd champion of contemporary masterpieces in his time. His high-temperature recording of Shostakovich’s Fourth was made in 1963, only three years after the composer had allowed his 24-year-old monster to surface in Soviet Russia. The engineering of the day cowers before the work’s many screaming climaxes, but the woodwind remain firm of purpose and the Philadelphia strings tear into the first movement’s fugal madness like souls possessed. Their masterly, heartfelt phrasing in the Tenth Symphony gives the work the tragic stature it deserves, but seldom receives. David Nice