Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54, by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

Recommendations

Orchestral Choice
December 2011
First Choice
February 2006
Editor's Choice
July 2006

All recordings

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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 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Mariinsky - Valery Gergiev Shostakovich Symphonies - MAR0545

(SACD - 2 discs)

$23.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal 2013

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Live-Recording, Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig 2013


Mariss Jansons ranks as one of today's most renowned interpreters of Russian symphonic music. Together with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, he presents the Sixth Symphonies of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich in recent live recordings.

“Jansons, who in the Leningrad Philharmonic days was Mravinsky's assistant...approximates his master's style, not in terms of tempo but in the quick-witted exchanges between desks and soloists...Jansons's precise approach veers in the direction of chamber music writ large.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

BR Klassik - 900123

(CD)

$18.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 12

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 12


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112 'The Year 1917'


Shostakovich’s Sixth and Twelfth Symphonies both had their origins in large-scale projects about Lenin, though the Sixth was eventually to emerge as one of the composer’s most abstract and idiosyncratic symphonies. The long, intensely lyrical and meditative slow movement that opens the work is one of the composer’s most striking. The Twelfth, one of the least played of Shostakovich’s symphonies in the West, became less a celebration of Lenin’s legacy than a chronological depiction of events during the Bolshevik Revolution. ‘The playing is fabulously crisp and committed, while the interpretations combine atmosphere and a sense of proportion – to the benefit of the youthful First, which receives an eerily effective performance, free of exaggeration.’ (Financial Times on Naxos 8572396 / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3)

“The RLPO woodwinds excel themselves in these gripping readings.” Sunday Times, 9th October 2011

“Petrenko makes weird and wonderful sense of both...The RLPO’s sense of attack carries all before it, and the eerie Adagio [of No. 12] is traversed with subtlety and finesse. This symphony may not be top-drawer music, but by treating it seriously rather than as the soundtrack for a Bolshevik newsreel, Petrenko and the RLPO do Shostakovich a big favour.” Financial Times, 8th October 2011 ****

“Petrenko leaves his stamp on the performances through his insight into the characteristics of each work...One particularly impressive feature is the fact that Petrenko seems to have instilled such a “Russian” sound into the players...Petrenko’s sense of the music’s structure is sure, both in the Sixth Symphony and in the Twelfth” The Telegraph, 7th October 2011 *****

“[The] fierce, anguished first movement is one of Shostakovich's greatest achievements; in this superbly paced performance, it seems to echo the wracked Adagio that begins Mahler's Tenth Symphony. Petrenko and the RLPO are equally impressive in the movements that follow, with wonderfully agile woodwind playing in the Scherzo, and a perfect balance between vulgarity and exuberance in the final Presto.” The Guardian, 20th October 2011 ****

“Superlative standards already set by this team's Shostakovich couldn't afford to slip in a symphony as great as the Sixth. In the first movement, at least, Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpudlians reach new heights of articulation and sonic beauty...In the inferior Symphony No. 12, Petrenko applies his usual standards of well-differentiated articulation and soulful playing” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 *****

“Petrenko makes a case that the Sixth could be amongst Shostakovich's most elusive puzzling creations...His solution to the Twelfth: stay out of the way, the RLPO's firepower is good in the telling...profound interpretative insights and stinging orchestral playing.” Classic FM Magazine, December 2011 ****

“[Petrenko]’s not inclined to dwell on the ambiguous political complexities, but his purely musical approach is persuasive. He concentrates on energy and precision, paces each movement astutely, and elicits lean, thrilling timbres from his players.” The Times, 26th November 2011 ****

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - December 2011

Naxos Vasily Petrenko Shostakovich Symphonies - 8572658

(CD)

$9.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54


Everest - EVERCD015

(CD)

$8.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich - Symphonies Nos. 6 & 9

Shostakovich - Symphonies Nos. 6 & 9

with introductions by Leonard Bernstein. Directed by: Humphrey Burton


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

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


Subtitles: German/French/Spanish/Chinese. Filmed at the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna in 1986

“Shostakovich's favourite American interpreter and early champion conducts powerful if idiosyncratic performances - the Sixth weighty, the Ninth unusually dark.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2006 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG Unitel - E734170

(DVD Video)

$22.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, etc.

Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93


“to rival the very best” Gramophone Magazine

Building a Library

First Choice - February 2006

BIS - BISCD973/974

(CD - 2 discs)

$33.75

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54


The third installment of Andrey Boreyko’s recordings of the music of Shostakovich with the RSO Stuttgart: nuanced interpretations of a pair of Shostakovich’s more "unusual" symphonies.

Hänssler Boreyko Shostakovich Cycle - HAEN93303

(CD)

$17.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Stokowski conducts Shostakovich

Stokowski conducts Shostakovich


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

20 April 1939 (first western recording)

Philadelphia Orchestra

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

8/20 December 1940 (world premiere recording)

Philadelphia Orchestra

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 'Leningrad'

13 December 1942

NBC Symphony Orchestra


The recordings contained in this set of Shostakovich's Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Symphonies were all made soon after the first performances of each work, and have an authenticity as well as a musical immediacy that later recordings inevitably have lacked, good as they may be. These recordings stand as unique sound documents in the history of the interpretation of Shostakovich's music. In addition they testify to Stokowski's own personal style as an interpreter of this composer's works. Shostakovich held Stokowski in high esteem as an exponent of his music. These performances were previously issued on other labels (no longer available); the present restorations are state of the art, from the best possible sources.

“In Shostakovich, Stokowski cultivates an uncommon strain of seductive lyricism. Excitement in the Fifth and Sixth is limited by timid timpani playing, while in the Seventh the sound is constricted.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009

Music & Arts - MACD1232

(CD - 2 discs)

$26.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112 'The Year 1917'

first performance in the West

Philharmonia Orchestra

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Tahiti Trot (Tea for Two), Op. 16

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Strauss, J, II:

Nichevo Polka

arr. Shostakovich

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Vergnügungszug, Op. 281

arr. Shostakovich

BBC Symphony Orchestra


Recorded:

Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 4 September 1962 (Symphony No.12)

Royal Albert Hall, London, 10 December 1980 (Symphony No.6)

Royal Albert Hall, London, 14 August 1981 (J. Strauss II, Youmans)

This CD contains the first Western performance of Shostakovich's vast Symphony No.12 'The Year 1917' given in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh in September 1962 with the composer in attendance.

This historic event was recorded by the BBC in excellent stereo and follows the premiere, also given in the Usher Hall the same year, of Shostakovich's Symphony No.4 (BBCL 4220-2)

The coupling of Shostakovich's high spirited Symphony No.6 showcases Rozhdestvensky as music director of the BBCSO in 1980, this time from the Royal Festival Hall in superb stereo.

Three Shostakovich arrangements have been added as bonuses including the famous treatment given to Youman's Tea for Two.

“Rozhdestvensky unveils an intense Twelfth, plus a spot of Proms magic” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“The treat here is the Sixth [Symphony]...Part apocalypse, part circus, it's unnerving and utterly thrilling.” Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 12th September 2008 ****

Historical Recordings - up to 25% off

BBC Legends - Conductors - BBCL42422

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Prokofiev: Peter & the Wolf

Prokofiev: Peter & the Wolf


Bach, J S:

Fugue in G minor, BWV578 'Little'

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Debussy:

Trois Nocturnes: Fêtes

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Mozart:

Der Schauspieldirektor, K486: Overture

NBC Symphony Orchestra

Prokofiev:

Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67

Lauritz Melchior (narrator)

NBC Symphony Orchestra

Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

New York Philharmonic Orchestra

Tchaikovsky:

Suite No. 1 in D minor, Op. 43: Marche Miniature

Chicago Symphony Orchestra


This is a very important record for collectors of great orchestral interpretations, in that it reveals aspects of the great Hungarian-born but naturalised American conductor Fritz Reiner which have rarely been made available on disc before. There are two major highlights on this CD – Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ with the magnificent tenor Lauritz Melchior adopting a new role on disc as narrator, and an early war-time performance of Shostakovich’s epic Sixth Symphony with the Phlharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York. This very well-filled CD is completed by a brilliant performance of Mozart’s ‘Impresario’ Overture, and masterly accounts of the March from Tchaikovsky’s First Orchestral Suite, Debussy’s Fetes from his three Nocturnes and a beautifully transcription by Lucien Caillet of Bach’s ‘Little’ Fugue in G minor – the last three with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Excellent sound.

Live recordings 1943-57

Guild Historical - GHCD2333

(CD)

$8.75

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

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