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SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 14. Gal James, Alexander Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko. Naxos

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Shostakovich Symphony No 14 Gal Philharmonic Orchestra Vasily Petrenko Naxos

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Symphony No 14

Gal James, Soprano

Alexander Vinogradov, Baritone

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko

At its première in June 1969 Shostakovich described his Symphony No. 14, in effect a symphonic song cycle, as ‘a fight for the liberation of humanity... a great protest against death, a reminder to live one’s life honestly, decently, nobly...’ Originally intending to write an oratorio, Shostakovich set eleven poems on the theme of mortality, and in particular early or unjust death, for two solo singers accompanied by strings and percussion. This is the penultimate release in Vasily Petrenko’s internationally acclaimed symphonic cycle.

The Fourteenth Symphony is a powerful, death-obsessed work, unremittingly gripping, and the penultimate work in the canon of 15 symphonies. Petrenko’s cycle has thus far received huge international acclaim, winning accolades from The Sunday Times, Gramophone, IRR, Fanfare, BBC Music Magazine etc. There are many famous recordings of the work, ranging from those early ones conducted by Kondrashin, Barshai, Ormandy, and Bernstein. A more recent classic is the 1981 Haitink, but that is still over 30 years old. Barshai more recently re-recorded it (on a Brilliant in a budget price set of the symphonies) and at full-price there are recordings by Wigglesworth and Jansons and others.

The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra, dating from 1840. The dynamic young Russian, Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the orchestra in September 2006 and in September 2009 became Chief Conductor.

Naxos 8573132

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