Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 was premiered in 1937. It was composed in response to the Soviet denouncement in Pravda of the composer’s most recent works. The symphony was an overwhelming success, returning the composer to favour with the authorities, and remains one of the most performed symphonies of the 20th century. The jaunty, neo-Classical character of Symphony No. 9 was in stark contrast to the ‘victory symphony’ expected by Soviet officialdom. Shostakovich’s startlingly different original draft for the opening of the first movement can be heard on 8.572138.

Release date: September 2023