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Completed in 1936 but withdrawn during rehearsal and not performed until 1961, the searing Fourth Symphony finds Shostakovich stretching his musical idiom to the limit in the search for a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.

“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 ****

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

“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

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2013

Naxos Vasily Petrenko Shostakovich Symphonies - 8573188

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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.

“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

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2012

DG - 4790249

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.50

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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

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS Mark Wigglesworth/NRPO Shostakovich Symphonies - BISSACD1553

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

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

Recorded live in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center on May 8-11 and 13, 2008


+ FREE BONUS DVD

Accompanying the audio CD is a DVD of one of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's critically acclaimed Beyond the Score performances featuring a multimedia Shostakovich documentary led by creative director Gerard McBurney.The programme features newsreels and testimonies, including the words of Shostakovich and his friends. Beyond the Score brings to life not only the music, but also the social and political world from which it emerged.

A champion of Shostakovich's music, CSO Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink leads the Fourth Symphony, a dark and emotionally, groundbreaking work. It lay dormant, unperformed, for 25 years after its completion but now this stunning symphony is recognised as one of the composer's boldest and most brilliant scores.

“With Haitink in charge of the Shostakovich, there can be no threat of exaggeration or distortion, no need to whip up a greater frenzy than the composer plotted. No conductor can make this long symphony short but this conductor keeps the lines taut and the climaxes proportional. This conductor makes the macabre spasms sharp, the sombre indulgences poetic… the final unearthly cadence was greeted with a small eternity of stunned silence. It meant more than any push-button ovation.” Financial Times

“account of the Fourth is masterly, underlining the work's claims to be Shostakovich's finest, the one in which his debt to Mahler is most vividly declared. It helps to have an orchestra as secure and rich-toned as the Chicago Symphony in music whose vivid colours and almost expressionist intensity are so important; Haitink ensures that the symphonic skeleton is boldly defined too.” The Guardian, 22nd August 2008 ****

“This recording demonstrates the orchestra's keen response to the music's darker moments of rumination, its rhythmic and harmonic pungency and, through razor-sharp incisiveness of attack, its modernist leanings.” The Telegraph, 23rd August 2008

“In a DVD accompanying Bernard Haitink's musically satisfying account of Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony, creative director and narrator Gerard McBurney and actor Nicholas Rudall compellingly spin out its greater Soviet and Stalinist context. Haitink's ken for large-scale tension leads to commanding, crunchy climaxes... With haunting passages by the woodwinds, especially clarinets, the angst and dread at the core of this... symphony come through.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

CSO Resound - CSOR901814

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Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky


Shostakovich:

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


“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 Classical Music Guide, 2010

“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.” Gramophone Magazine

BBC Legends - Conductors - BBCL42202

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

Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk: Symphonic Suite, Op. 29a


The program features two of Shostakovich’s most challenging, provocative and arguably, greatest works!

The Fourth Symphony came as a result of the composer’s study of Mahler. Scored for a gigantic orchestra, the symphony consists of two colossal outer movements, each lasting nearly half an hour, that frame a brief, intermezzo-like movement: first a movement in extended sonata form, then a droll scherzo and in third place a final movement of varied symphonic character introduced by a funeral march.

The second work features the World Premiere recording of Shostakovich’s own suite from his opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Premiered in 1934, the work was a smashing success. However, triumph came to an abrupt end when on January 28, 1936, it became the subject of a devastating article in Pravda, presumably initiated by Stalin. Shostakovich arranged the Suite op. 29a, shortly after completing the opera. It can be assumed that the dramatic fate of the opera also had an effect on the history of the Suite’s performance, so that it, too, was not played for at least another twenty years.

Andrey Boreyko, born in St. Petersburg, studied at that cty’s Academy of Music under E. Kudriavtseva and A. Dmitriev. Since 1997, he has been living and working largely in Western Europe. He was Chief Conductor of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and First Guest Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Since 2004, he has been allied with the Hamburg Symphony as its Chief Conductor, in 2005 he was called to take on the same position with the Bern Symphony Orchestra and to be the Principle Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra of SWR. He works as Guest Conductor with the world’s leading symphony orchestras.

Hänssler Boreyko Shostakovich Cycle - HAEN93193

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Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 8

Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 8


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43


This recording is a coup – in the series from the Dresden State Orchestra archive – it is the premiere performance of Shostakovitch’s 4th Symphony in Germany given in 1963 conducted by Kyrill Kondrashin. Audio sound has been completely remastered from the original tapes

“…trombone and trumpet solos, throwing careful intonation to the winds, achieve even more rasping emphasis than their Moscow counterparts in the 1962 recording. Unique, though, are the staggering dynamic range, focus and atmosphere of the Dresden Staatskapelle's string playing. Kondrashin, like Mravinsky, was famous for his intensive pianissimos and the gradations of his crescendos and this is perhaps the finest testament to them, especially in the twilight zones of the imploding first movement, the shadow-world of the finale's off-kilter ballet divertissement and the tragic snuffing-out of the relentless C minor coda.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2006 *****

Profil Medien Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - PH06023

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

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

Composer's arrangement for two pianos


Rustem Hayroudinoff, Colin Stone (pianos)

Chandos - CHAN10296

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

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


Capriccio - C71032

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

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


DG - 4477592

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