Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43 - download (MP3 & FLAC)

This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43, by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) on download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first.

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

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


Completed in 1936 but withdrawn during rehearsal and not performed until 1961, the searing Fourth Symphony finds Shostakovich stretching his musical idiom to the limit in the search for a personal means of expression at a time of undoubted personal and professional crisis.

The opening movement, a complex and unpredictable take on sonata form that teems with a dazzling profusion of varied motifs, is followed by a short, eerie central movement. The finale opens with a funeral march leading to a climax of seismic physical force that gives way to a bleak and harrowing minor key coda. The Symphony has since become one of the most highly regarded of the composer’s large-scale works.

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.

“Since Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpudlians haven't disappointed in any instalment of their Shostakovich cycle so far, the chances were they would excel here. And they do. A special coup at the start is the high-frequency shock...Petrenko drives weird sounds to appropriate extremes...The many wild climaxes are exceptionally vivid.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 *****

“Petrenko makes following its thought processes, its phantasmagorical journeying between worlds so much easier. He makes perfect sense of the seemingly senseless...The skewed logic of the piece is made gripping, the disparate and the enigmatic reconciled.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Petrenko’s exhilarating and powerfully emotional performance maintains the high standard of earlier instalments of this remarkable cycle.” Sunday Times, 3rd November 2013

“the Liverpool players get around the enormous technical challenges with great verve, and the self-destructive climaxes are never shirked. But there's a brittleness to how Petrenko treats some of the episodes...Much of his reading, though, is spot-on” The Guardian, 3rd October 2013 ****

“Haitink has acknowledged that the Fourth “is a difficult work to handle and has to be kept on a leash”. Petrenko echoes that view in this performance; the proportions and sometimes wild discourse are held in perspective. But it also tempers punch with sensitivity” The Telegraph, 31st October 2013 ****

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2013

Naxos Vasily Petrenko Shostakovich Symphonies - 8573188

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

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


This is the seventh disc in Mark Wigglesworth’s complete cycle of Shostakovich’s symphonies and the fourth to feature the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. This partnership has gone from strength to strength, with their Symphony No. 13 (‘Babi Yar’) described as ‘probably the most convincing to have appeared in the West’ in International Record Review, and the coupling of Symphonies Nos 9 and 12 being designated a benchmark recording in BBC Music Magazine.

They now take on this huge work – it calls for an orchestra of 125 musicians and lasts well over an hour.

When Shostakovich began working on Symphony No.4, his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk had been a sensational success and the composer was the musical golden child of the Soviet Union. However, after Stalin himself went to see the opera, the newspaper Pravda described the musician as an enemy of the state. Suddenly Shostakovich's life was turned upside down, but he remained unbowed – much later in life he is reported as having said: ‘Instead of repenting I composed my Fourth Symphony.’

“No elbow jabs, no foaming at the mouth, but an inexorable procession of nightmare, grim jest and desolation, brilliantly played by the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra.” The Times, 18th July 2009 ****

“Everything is humanised, so that the conflict of the Finale is a whirlwind battle rather than a grinding mechanism, and even the circus ditties before the final storm have charm as well as nuance. The end is as mesmerising as it can be, raising unmistakeable parallels with the fading heartbeat of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 *****

“a performance of the Fourth that makes a terrific impact” The Telegraph

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BIS Mark Wigglesworth/NRPO Shostakovich Symphonies - BISSACD1553

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 9 and The Execution of Stepan Razin, Op. 119

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 9 and The Execution of Stepan Razin, Op. 119


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70

The Execution of Stepan Razin, Op. 119

Vitali Gromadzky (bass), USSR Radio Choir


The Execution of Stenka Razin by Dmitri Shostakovich is a cantata for baritone, chorus and orchestra, written in 1964 and performed for the first time in Moscow, directed by Kondrashin. It is based on the sentence of the Cossack leader, Stenka Razin, a revolutionary champion of the oppressed and peasants of the seventeenth century. Evegenij Yevtushenko wrote the text, he was one of the major Russian poets of the twentieth century. Recordings of this work are quite rare, especially one performed so closely (within two years) to the original production.

Urania Widescreen Collection - WS121333

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

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


2xHD - 813543020417

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

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


Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

Alexander Lazarev

Exton - OVCL00568

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

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


Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Michiyoshi Inoue

Exton - OVCL00550

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54


Valery Gergiev continues his acclaimed Shostakovich symphony cycle with his sixth release, a 2-SACD set of consecutive symphonies 4, 5 & 6.

Shostakovich's symphonies are often emotionally powerful and the three symphonies performed here are a particularly compelling and riveting combination. The tortuous difficulty of adhering to vaguely articulated political dictats shaped the evolution of Shostakovich’s music. Yet it is his sophisticated employment of musical codes that enabled him to maintain his creative integrity. There is no better illustration of his ability to tread a fine line between acclaim and condemnation than the experience he faced during the 1930s: the period when these symphonies were composed. Previous releases in Gergiev’s Shostakovich cycle include Symphonies Nos 1 & 15, Symphonies Nos 2 & 11, Symphonies Nos 3 & 10 and Symphony No 7.

“This studio recording by Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra of St Petersburg makes as strong a case for the music’s unwieldy sprawl as you will hear today...Gergiev’s ongoing Shostakovich cycle should, on this reckoning, end up among the greats.” Financial Times, 12th July 2014 ****

“on compelling form … worthy of anyone’s attention.” International Record Review, September 2014

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Mariinsky - Valery Gergiev Shostakovich Symphonies - MAR0545

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Shostakovich: Prologue to Orango & Symphony No. 4

Shostakovich: Prologue to Orango & Symphony No. 4


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Prologue to Orango

World Premiere Recording. Orchestrated by Gerard McBurney


Commissioned to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1932, Orango tells the fantastical story of a human-ape hybrid, who, through a combination of sleazy journalism, stock-exchange swindles and blackmail, rises to become a ruthless newspaper baron

Because of its explosive political and musical content, Shostakovich left Orango unfinished. The score remained forgotten until 2004, when a 13 page piano score was found in Moscow

At the request of the composer’s widow, Gerald McBurney orchestrated the Prologue to Shostakovich’s lost opera. Its World Premiere took place at Walt Disney Hall on December 2nd, 2011, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen

On a Mahlerian scale and ranging from the darkest tragedy to dreamlike sequences of music-hall and silent-film music, Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony is one of his most dramatic and revolutionary symphonic works. Forced by austere Soviet authorities to withdraw the radical symphony shortly before its premiere, the work was first heard in public over twenty five years later, when the composer is reported to have said, “I think in many ways the Fourth is greater than my later symphonic efforts”

The booklet contains essays by orchestrator Gerald McBurney, who tells the story of Orango’s rediscovery, and by renowned iconoclast director, Peter Sellars, who staged the work at its long-awaited Los Angeles premiere.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Salonen’s forces throw themselves into the affray with plenty of pep. Ryan McKinny acquits himself well as the Entertainer, master of ceremonies at a big Soviet rally...the [Symphony] cackles and grimaces with more vigour than Orango...there’s a bright heat and clarity here” The Times, 29th June 2012 ***

“the piano score of the prologue to Shostakovich's abandoned opera Orango blazes with colour in Gerard McBurney's orchestration.” The Independent, 1st July 2012 ****

“Even if some of the music [of Orango] sounds thin in this Gerard McBurney orchestration, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s LA forces give it five-star treatment — the rising American tenor Michael Fabiano is outstanding — and it serves as an agreeable bonne bouche to Salonen’s stupendous account of the bewildering Fourth” Sunday Times, 9th July 2012

“[Orango's] trenchant wit and seriousness of satirical purpose leave you wishing more of it had survived...Salonen conducts [the Fourth] with cool lucidity and a sense of remorseless logic...The immense climax of the finale isn't as shattering as it could be, but elsewhere Salonen's fondness for clear textures is very much in evidence, and often admirable.” The Guardian, 12th July 2012 ****

“The Prologue makes a curious yet first-rate companion to the mighty Shostakovich Four. Salonen's approach to this half-human, half-monster Symphony is well-calculated...the LA recording adds much to our understanding of an extraordinarily complex giant.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2012 ****

“[The Prologue] comes rip-roaringly off the surviving piano score in Gerard McBurney's spookily authentic orchestration...It's a composerly account [of the Fourth] in which every thematic connection, however oblique, has something to say. Clarity is forensic, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic achieving levels of precision that can...totally suspend disbelief.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012

“McKinny is a Master of Ceremonies of tangible malevolence...Salonen gets a lively response from his choral and orchestral forces, pointing up the music's humour to the audible enjoyment of the audience...this occasion may well be the first time [Salonen] has tackled one of the symphonies. The Fourth is the right choice in that its combining wilfully disparate material with an essentially pluarlistic idiom plays to this conductor's interpretative strengths.” International Record Review, September 2012

“does the prologue work as a stand-alone piece? Emphatically, yes...This is vintage Shostakovich, big, bold and biting, the fine soloists and chorus believably balanced...McBurney and Salonen exercise good judgment with this intriguing score..Worth it for Orango alone; look elsewhere for the symphony.” MusicWeb International, June 2012

“Dramatically, there are echoes and anticipations of other twentieth-century opera...McKinny makes an oleaginous, sinister Master of ceremonies...[Brancoveanu] his role in the Prologue gives him little to work with other than a series of groans, yawns and the odd inarticulate phrase, but even with these limited resources he manages to convey the ape’s dangerous pent-up strength and almost Calibanesque poetic sensibility.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 2nd July 2012

Presto Disc of the Week

2nd July 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2012

DG - 4790249

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

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


Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Daniel Raiskin

Daniel Raiskin writes: “Learning more about Shostakovich “growing” into his music over the years, and having listened at last to a number of live performances of the 4th Symphony, I felt a strong urge to become part of this “universe” by discovering it anew myself with a group of musicians I could trust… Never before have I experienced music as such a uniting factor!”

“While the interpretation as such is not startlingly original, the tempi mainstream, Raiskin obtains a freshness of texture that's undeniably appealing, evidence of thorough preparation and intense commitment. Best of all, the temptation to rush or otherwise undersell the finale's titanic final climax is firmly resisted....A valid, sometimes unexpectedly emotive alternative to the heftier sonorities of Gergiev and Co.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

Avi Music - AVI8553235

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

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


American Symphony Orchestra - ASO136

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