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Bruce Surtees
The WholeNote, October 2016

…there was no “listen to us” impression; [performers] were there for Shostakovich. In the Eighth, my favourite symphony, the earnest perfection of ensemble proves that this orchestra, in this repertoire with this conductor, is probably untouchable. Gergiev was immobilized after the music evaporated. The audience felt it too, as the applause burst out a long 38 seconds after the last note had died away. An extremely moving experience for all.

…there is a synergy between an orchestra working with its resident conductor. They are of one mind, so to speak. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, May 2016

Essential. Nothing else to say. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, January 2016

…magnificent, especially in the heart-rending cadenza of the Passacaglia, where Repin’s huge technique allows him to express Shostakovich’s tragic intention with shattering intensity.

…bass Mikhail Petrenko…brings exceptional beauty of voice and a silken legato line to Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar.” He’s a superior vocal actor who avoids the lugubriousness that heavier bassos bring to this part. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review




Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2015

…a release too overwhelming to summarize is Gergiev’s Blu-ray edition of Shostakovich’s complete symphonies and concertos. If there’s still room in this era of media glut for a release to be epoch-making, this oversized box set, complete with hardbound book, qualifies. For those of us who put Gergiev among the great Shostakovich interpreters, he’s done something monumental here that will be nearly impossible to surpass. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



David Gutman
Gramophone, October 2015

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies and Concertos (Complete) (Gergiev) (8 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) 107551
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies and Concertos (Complete) (Gergiev) (4 Blu-ray Disc Box Set, HD) 107552

Gergiev’s Shostakovich is theatrical as much as symphonic and mostly quite brisk. He never dawdles gloomily as do many Westerners, never intellectualises like Kurt Sanderling and shows little interest in Gennady Rozhdestvensky’s Soviet surrealism. One may feel that he exacts more blood and guts from the music than the composer actually intended, while accepting the distortion as part and parcel of a living tradition with a complicated ethical back story. In devoting his life to the development and funding of the Mariinsky, Gergiev has had to cultivate the powers that be. This too adds to his understanding of the composer’s exposed situation and the nature of his unavoidably Janus-faced legacy. For all my nitpicking, the production arguably trumps his previous recordings of the same pieces, and admirers will surely wish to scrutinise that fluttery semaphore at close quarters, clarified now and then by means of a toothpick. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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