Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

BBC Legends: BBCL42202

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Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

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Release date:

28th Aug 2007




73 minutes


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Gennadi Rozhdestvensky


Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 7 September 1962

Philharmonia Orchestra

Suite from 'Katerina Ismailova', Op. 114a

Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 4 September 1962

Philharmonia Orchestra

Festive Overture, Op. 96

Recorded: Barbican Hall, London, 8 July 1985

London Symphony Orchestra

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Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

I. Allegretto poco moderato - Presto

II. Moderato con moto

III. Largo - Allegro

Dmitry Shostakovich: Suite from Katerina Izmailova (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District), Op. 114a

I. Allegretto (entr'acte between scenes 1 and 2)

II. Allegro con brio (entr'acte between scenes 2 and 3)

V. Presto (entr'acte between scenes 7 and 8)

IV. Allegretto (entr'acte between scenes 6 and 7)

Dmitry Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Op. 96

Festive Overture, Op. 96

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“A genuine BBC Legend this. We tend to think of Kyrill Kondrashin as the most 'authentic' pioneer of Shostakovich's long-suppressed Fourth Symphony, except that the recordings of this work by Gennady Rozhdestvensky are no less fine. Where Kondrashin offers total commitment and unremitting intensity, Rozhdestvensky proves peculiarly adept at teasing out the score's strange, subversive elements.
Here, giving the work its first hearing outside the Soviet bloc during a large-scale Shostakovich retrospective at the 1962 Edinburgh Festival, Rozhdestvensky conducts with greater urgency than usual, galvanising the Philharmonia into a coruscating display. Small wonder the piece so wowed contemporary critics. The inclusion of an edited and reordered KaterinaIzmaylova Suite, performed a few days earlier, reminds us that this was also the period in which Shostakovich at last secured official acceptance of his opera The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, albeit in bowdlerised form. Western commentators were understandably less kind about the Twelfth Symphony which featured on the same programme.
BBC Legends' festive filler is an LSO relay from 1985, dangerously like a non sequitur in this context. It also betrays a more worrying aspect of the Rozhdestvensky phenomenon.
While the rendition has more than enough verve and spirit to delight the audience at London's Barbican Hall, you may find it too sloppy for repeated listening. (Applause is retained.)”

Gramophone Magazine

“A genuine BBC Legend this…Rozhdestvensky proves peculiarly adept at teasing out the score’s strange, subversive elements…galvanizing the Philharmonia into a coruscating display. Small wonder the piece so wowed contemporary critics.”

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