Reviews: Shostakovich Symphony No 4

David Nice on TheArtsDesk  reviews Shostakovich Symphony No 4 from the Royal Festival performance on 16 January 2010.

“Even Londoners used to the highly sophisticated assaults of the city’s most challenging orchestral partnership… may have been taken aback by the keenly directed electricity of the occasion.”

“The half-hour-long first movement usually sounds like some lumbering behemoth, lost in the symphonic forest of its own making and constantly imploding, a shackled relic of the Mahlerian era. Jurowski’s creature, though, danced and swayed its way through the vast opening paragraphs, waltzed on tiptoe in the twilight zones and saved its most savage thrashes for the heart of darkness. Strings tore up the earth in frantic, fugueing semiquavers, throwing caution to the winds and provoking brass and percussion to re-enact the sexual violence of Shostakovich’s near-contemporary opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Even in all this, the thematic lines loomed through the chaos loud and clear, allowing the thread to hold through to the post-apocalyptic coda.”

Read the complete review on TheArtsDesk

Other reviews:

The Times

The Guardian


Shostakovich Five Fragments
Szymanowski Violin Concerto no.1
Shostakovich Symphony no.4

Vladimir Jurowksi – conductor
Carolin Widmann – violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra

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