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SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 11 - Symphony No. 13, "Babi Yar" (Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, V. Petrenko)


Naxos 8.573218

   Fanfare, November 2015
   Scene Magazine, May 2015
   American Record Guide, March 2015
   Fanfare, March 2015
   Fanfare, March 2015
   Enjoy the Music, March 2015
   MusicWeb International, December 2014
   MusicWeb International, December 2014
   Audiophilia, December 2014
   The Sunday Times, London, December 2014
   ClassicalCDReview.com, December 2014
   The Sunday Times, London, December 2014
   Examiner.com, November 2014
   Daily Telegraph (UK), November 2014
   The Arts Desk, November 2014
   Classical Net, November 2014
   Positive Feedback Online, November 2014
   Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2014
   Infodad.com, October 2014
   MusicWeb International, October 2014
   ClassicsToday.com, October 2014
   The Guardian, October 2014
   David's Review Corner, October 2014
   Financial Times, September 2014
   Sinfini Music, September 2014

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Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2015

I’ve never heard a reading as eloquent from start to finish as Petrenko’s, with a magnificent soloist in bass Alexander Vinogradov. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, May 2015

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13—also known as Babi Yar—is a sprawling masterpiece that attracted controversy in its day for condemning Russian anti-Semitism. The powerful words of the symphony were penned by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a Russian poet whose dissenting rhetoric routinely upset Soviet authorities. It’s language which has lost none of its potency; a quality captured by the RLP Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society, who summon the indignation that the lyric demands. Through it all, Petrenko provides a steady hand to guide musicians, singers and listeners through final program, his last Shostakovich symphonic series offering. © 2015 Scene Magazine Read complete review



Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, March 2015

…this is an excellent performance—truly competitive with some of the benchmark recordings. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2015

It’s gratifying…that Vasily Petrenko and his superb vocal soloist, Alexander Vinogradov, sustain their intensity from beginning to end.

Vinogradov is exceptional as a vocal actor, even better than in a widely praised Shostakovich 14th Symphony with Petrenko. Sonorous and steady as his voice is, he’s not content to deliver the text for sound alone but finds emotional shadings at every turn. For his part, Petrenko sharpens the edges of Shostakovich’s orchestral writing wherever possible. The result is a reading filled with vibrancy despite the grim subject matter. Nor is the absence of a Russian male chorus a major drawback. These English choristers, along with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, are strongly committed to the score’s chilling indictments. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Jim Svejda
Fanfare, March 2015

The chorus is as precise and compelling as Petrenko’s brilliantly schooled orchestra while bass Alexander Vinogradov is everything the symphony’s “narrator” should be: dignified, impassioned, and admirably clear. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review




Max Westler
Enjoy the Music, March 2015

In this performance, every detail counts, and every part is wed to the whole. The final effect is overwhelming, just as composer and poet intended: a fitting memorial to the lost souls of Babi Yar, and a defiant protest against the conformity and repression that characterized the communist State. The Liverpool choruses sound no less authentic…and Vinogradov is superb, not just for his resonant bass, but for his acting. The playing of the orchestra and the sound quality have been strong suits throughout this series. Under Petrenko’s baton, the Liverpool Phil performs like a world-class orchestra, and the Naxos engineers have set them on a spacious soundstage with a transparent upper register and a stirringly visceral bass. Hats off to all concerned: this performance of the 13th Symphony is Petrenko’s crowning achievement.

Highest recommendation. © 2015 Enjoy the Music Read complete review




John Quinn
MusicWeb International, December 2014

This is a very fine performance indeed by Vasily Petrenko and his Liverpool forces—not forgetting the gentlemen from Huddersfield. The choral contribution is very fine indeed, giving the lie to the idea that only Russian or Eastern European singers have the right kind of timbre for this sort of music.

…anyone wishing to explore these important scores, especially the less familiar ones, will find these versions a reliable guide which may inspire you to hear the likes of Kondrashin and Mravinsky in these works. What these Petrenko recordings confirm above everything else is that the fifteen symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich are a crucial contribution to the symphonic literature of the twentieth century. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, December 2014

This Naxos CD becomes the eleventh recording in my collection and it holds its head high. No classical collector should be without this masterpiece, and Petrenko’s version is up there with the best. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



James Norris
Audiophilia, December 2014

I was left deeply moved by this performance. Bass Alexander Vinogradov sings the text with fine control and conviction and the male choristers of the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society also respond with impressive diction and attack. © 2014 Audiophilia Read complete review




The Sunday Times, London, December 2014

The Sunday Times 100 best records of the year: Classical Picks – #4

The final instalment of Petrenko’s remarkable Liverpool Shostakovich cycle is a world-class achievement. © 2014 The Sunday Times, London



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, December 2014

With this powerful reading of Symphony No 13, Vasily Petrenko concludes his Shostakovich symphony cycle on Naxos. As usual, there is a totally “Russian” sound, with the first-class Royal Liverpool Orchestra in virtuoso form. The orchestra’s chorus provided robust sounds, and bass Vladimir Vinogradov, who also was soloist in this series version of Symphony No 14, is equally impressive. Again Naxos is to be congratulated on there engineering expertise. A terrific conclusion to a distinguished series. © 2014 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review




Hugh Canning
The Sunday Times, London, December 2014

…dark and penetrating performance from Liverpool forces. © 2014 The Sunday Times, London



Stephen Smoliar
Examiner.com, November 2014

As with all of the other recordings, Petrenko conducts this symphony with aggressively bold strokes. Vocally, Alexander Vinogradov has that same solid bass voice that brought strength to the tenth volume in Petrenko’s cycle…[and] his deep bass tones are impressively reinforced by the combined male forces of the Huddersfield Choral Society and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

…the entire collection stands as an impressive approach to the interpretation of Shostakovich’s instrumental music, with each of the symphonies providing its own distinctive contribution to a biographical profile of the composer. © 2014 Examiner.com Read complete review




Geoffrey Norris
Daily Telegraph (UK), November 2014

This performance lives up to the high expectations raised by the previous discs in this series: the orchestra, now invested by Petrenko with a true Russian bite and resonance, lives and breathes the music in brilliance and brooding edginess and energy. © 2014 Daily Telegraph (UK) Read complete review



Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, November 2014

…this superb modern recording deserves to become a best-seller. The third movement’s suppressed rage is chilling, and the oily tuba solo at the start of the fourth movement is the stuff of nightmares.

Shostakovich had a talent for spectral fadeouts, and the close of this symphony is pure magic. Petrenko’s bass, Alexander Vinograd…[is] fabulous—singing with absolute authority and never descending into growls. And the mens’ voices? They cope heroically. Diction is clear, and you sense that they’re singing out of their collective skins. It’s a masterpiece, and this recording is a fitting conclusion to one of the best modern Shostakovich cycles. © 2014 The Arts Desk Read complete review



Robert Cummings
Classical Net, November 2014

…[the symphony’s] chilling drama and sense of both tragedy and irony come across here so powerfully in this extraordinary performance. First, the playing by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and singing by bass soloist Alexander Vinogradov are first rate, as are the vocal performances of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society. Petrenko has to take much of the credit though, because as usual he is insightful throughout the score, pointing up essential detail, obtaining proper vocal and instrumental balances and selecting tempos that always work nicely. But what he achieves best of all is capturing the generally dark moods inherent in Shostakovich’s music here.

Naxos provides vivid sound reproduction…this is a most attractive issue. Strongly recommended. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review



Bob Neill
Positive Feedback Online, November 2014

Petrenko makes this music, so often dismissed as bombast, more interesting, intriguing even. There is plenty of high energy and éclat here when it’s called for but Petrenko doesn’t let it dominate. For him, intensity can be a subtle as well as bold thing.

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 is full of Mussorgsky’s spirit—thanks in no small part to its stunningly good bass soloist, young Muscovite Alexander Vinogradov…

Naxos CD’s are and have always been the greatest musical value on earth… © 2014 Positive Feedback Online Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2014

Bass vocalist Alexander Vinogradov gives us a gravitas performance of the best sort, amplified by the all-male amassed choirs. The Royal Liverpool Orchestra brings forth a vivid and rousing performance. Vasily Petrenko’s interpretation is without flaw, impassioned.

…I recommend this version without hesitation. It is vital Shostakovich in a vital performance. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Infodad.com, October 2014

The remarkable Shostakovich symphonic cycle led by Vasily Petrenko for Naxos comes to a superb close with the release of the absolutely first-rate performance of Symphony No. 13…The rumbling, growling bass of Alexander Vinogradov and the full-throated men’s voices from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society produce, in their back-and-forth antiphonies and their combined power, a paean and challenge to the Russia of 1962…This is a triumphant conclusion to a Shostakovich cycle that has been absolutely top-notch throughout…Petrenko here establishes himself as a pre-eminent conductor of this composer’s works—a true master of their many moods. © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, October 2014

Petrenko pulls all his vocal and orchestral forces together tautly. His chosen tempi are satisfying and he uncovers much fine detail in the scoring. Taking centre-stage the indefatigable Vinogradov proves masterly from start to finish. With his rich and deeply cavernous voice he expressively conveys the harrowing text.

The engineers have excelled with clear, well balanced sonics. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, October 2014

Vasily Petrenko’s generally sensational Shostakovich cycle concludes with this powerful and gripping performance of the Thirteenth Symphony. The interpretation is full of distinctive touches: the notably sharp and swift take on the first movement’s “pogrom” music, and perhaps the most brilliant, pointed and textually specific version of “humor” yet recorded.

A great ending to a great cycle. © 2014 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review




Nicholas Kenyon
The Guardian, October 2014

…Alexander Vinogradov is a superb bass soloist, and Vasily Petrenko is as good at gloomy introspection as he is at brittle confrontation. © 2014 The Guardian Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2014

The Thirteenth is the final installment in the most interesting modern cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies, and with it comes the decisive test for the conductor. Here the composer was not leaving us to interpret the symphony’s inner meaning, for the sung words are an expression of a life lived in the tyrannical Soviet State. Reviewing the original disc recorded at the second performance in Moscow two days after its premiere was an experience I will never forget. The sheer passion, white-heat, and raw emotion of an evening that was taking place in defiance of the Soviet Regime was stamped on every note. The conductor was Kiril Kondrashin with the magnificent voice if Vitaly Gromadsky, the scheduled soloist having pulled out at the last minute fearful of official reprisals. I guess Vasily Petrenko also knows the performance well, as his choice of tempos are so similar that the overall timing of each movement is but a few seconds different. Of course Kondrashin had the very unique quality of Russian male voices, though the two major choruses from northern England are a force to be reckoned with, and though the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra tore into the score with supercharged power, the Liverpool orchestra lack nothing in the climatic moments. Maybe 1960’s Muscovites knew far more about the movement entitled Fear, yet even here, and throughout this new release, the young bass, Alexander Vinogradov, perfectly characterises the words. Indeed in the sardonic aspects of the second movement, Humour, he and Petrenko have the edge in the world of pseudo-gaiety. Comparing moment by moment we find the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic a more refined ensemble, and though the ‘live’ Russian recording was quite remarkable in the circumstances in which it was made, the Naxos sound is, of course, in a different league. I commend it to you as one of the very best Shostakovich discs in the current catalogue and a fitting conclusion to the cycle. © 2014 David’s Review Corner



Richard Fairman
Financial Times, September 2014

Combined male choirs from Liverpool and Huddersfield render a performance crackling with electricity © 2014 Financial Times



Peter Quantrill
Sinfini Music, September 2014

…the production values are uniformly excellent…conductor Vasily Petrenko makes a distinctive case for each symphony, requiring his Liverpool band to turn on a sixpence for the jump-cut sequences in the early and late works, and mining a broad, properly Russian vein of tragedy in the mid-period symphonies.

The men of the Huddersfield Choral Society are as well-trained as the RLPO men when they join up for the latest and final instalment in the cycle, No.13. Rapid in the scherzo, implacable for the march-like slow movement Petrenko hits upon the perfect, bittersweet expression of pride and resignation that colours the symphony’s finale and one of the most haunting, open-ended melodies Shostakovich ever wrote.

The bass Alexander Vinogradov is excellent…as a declamatory front-man in the Thirteenth… © 2014 Sinfini Music Read complete review





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