“Each release in Vasily Petrenko’s Shostakovich symphony cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has created a sensation, from the appearance of Volume 1 in 2009 until the final instalment in 2014. The sustained acclaim from critics and collectors alike has firmly established the set as a distinguished market leader, with The Sunday Times concluding that “The final instalment of Petrenko's remarkable Liverpool Shostakovich cycle is a world-class achievement”, and citing Volume 11 (8.573218) as a “record of the year”. Now brought together as an 11-CD boxed collection, I am certain that this set will be at the top of many a Christmas wish list for years to come.”
– Klaus Heymann Founding chairman of Naxos
“Why Shostakovich? I think he’s probably the greatest symphonist of the 20th century and I wanted to give his music even wider recognition and basically bring it to a broader audience.”
Dmitry Shostakovich’s cycle of fifteen symphonies stands as one of the greatest musical achievements of the 20th century. From the brilliance of his youthful First Symphony to the final ironic statement of the Fifteenth, Shostakovich’s symphonies encapsulate the Soviet experience, the music transcending public pressures in order to express the deepest of personal responses to life, death, and everything in between. International acclaim for Vasily Petrenko’s recorded cycle has put it at the vanguard of a noble history for these enduring masterpieces.
“...I predict that this will be among the very best Shostakovich cycles on the market.”
Listen to an extract from Vol. 11,
Symphony No. 13, 'Babi Yar': II. Yumor (Humour) Allegretto
Watch the video trailer, in which Vasily Petrenko reflects on the incredible journey of recording the complete cycle of Shostakovich’s symphonies.
About the Artists
Vasily Petrenko was appointed principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006 and in 2009 became chief conductor. He is also chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre of his native St Petersburg, and principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He was the Classical BRIT Awards Male Artist of the Year 2010 and 2012 and the Classic FM/Gramophone Young Artist of the Year 2007.
The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra, dating from 1840. The orchestra gives over sixty concerts each season in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and tours widely throughout the UK and internationally. World première performances in recent seasons have included major works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir John Tavener.
Alexander Vinogradov made his début at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow at the age of 21. Since then he has established a remarkable career and has won numerous prizes in international singing competitions. He has performed in opera houses and concert halls around the world, and is a regular guest at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.
After completing her studies at the the opera studio of the Staatsoper Berlin, Israeli soprano Gal James joined Oper Graz where her repertoire has included the title rôle in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, Chrysothemis in Strauss’s Elektra, Eva in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Founded in 1836, Huddersfield Choral Society has an international reputation as the UK’s leading choral society, producing a unique and thrilling, full-bodied sound from over 200 voices. The repertoire includes both oratorio and religious music, contemporary and commissioned works, and the choir regularly broadcasts for BBC radio and television.
“Petrenko on Naxos has the fastest [movement] I…the rest of the performance is quite devastating. The end of [movement] II is amazing, and [movement] III moved our reviewer to tears. [Movement] IV is agonizing and tormented. Naxos has handed us an amazing and deeply moving performance.” – American Record Guide
“Vasily Petrenko leads a first movement that beats just about everyone in terms of sheer excitement… Through it all the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic plays splendidly, and is excellently recorded. This Shostakovich series is shaping up as one of the best, make no mistake.” – ClassicsToday.com
“With the excellent RLPO Petrenko gives a terrific account of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony. Rarely a conductor made such a good use of dynamics to underline the inner conflict and the whole spectrum of emotions buried by the composer in this music.” – Pizzicato
Listen to podcast
Listen to an extract from
Symphony No. 7, 'Leningrad': IV. Allegro non troppo
“Shostakovich’s Fourth shows the tragedy of the human being in the machinery of dictatorship. Petrenko uses the dynamic forces of his as always excellent Liverpool Philharmonic to let us experience musically the implacability of such a terror.” – Pizzicato
“I have been impressed with this issue, for it is technically superbly recorded and the performance has an integrity that is most admirable…The orchestral playing…is extremely fine throughout.” – International Record Review