Shostakovich symphonies -
'... care and thoughtfulness ...'
Daniel Barenboim, in his book Everything is Connected, propounds that because of the political situation during the Cold War, Shostakovich was misrepresented and that performances of his music in the West 'acquired a one-dimensional character and superficial brilliance very far removed from the sarcasm or irony intended by the composer'.
So, where are we twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet, in the hands of a Russian conductor who was only thirteen at the time? On this evidence, Petrenko can certainly not be accused of superficial brilliance, but nor is one overwhelmed by sarcasm or irony. He brings care and attention to the works rather than risk-taking, control rather than soul-baring.
This is evident in the opening section of the Fifth Symphony, where a steady tempo and careful playing produces a brooding atmosphere rather than a fearful one....
Copyright © 19 January 2010
CD INFORMATION: SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONIES 5 AND 9