Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 [Leningrad] [Vasily Petrenko, RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573057]
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Three weeks after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Shostakovich volunteered with the Home Guard in Leningrad. As the siege of the city intensified, he worked on his Seventh Symphony
, completing three movements before being forced to leave Leningrad and travel east by train. The work was completed in December that year. Initially he gave each movement a programmatic title, but later withdrew them, leaving this epic work as an emblem of heroic defiance in the face of conflict and crisis: 'I dedicate my Seventh Symphony to our struggle against fascism, to our coming victory over the enemy, to my native city, Leningrad.'
Shostakovich's epic Seventh Symphony
is a study in de?ance and survival, written largely in the ruins of the besieged city in 1941. Its reputation has fluctuated over the years, with its immediate post war reputation largely low. But in recent years it has taken its rightful place in Shostakovich's symphonic canon. As one of the twentieth-century's most recorded symphonists, the composer has been the subject of many recordings.
The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
is the UK's oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra, dating from 1840. The dynamic young Russian, Vasily Petrenko
was appointed Principal Conductor of the orchestra in September 2006 and in September 2009 became Chief Conductor."The RLPO and their Leningrad-born conductor Vasily Petrenko bring out the work's lyricism, as well as its austerity, with formidable woodwind playing throughout. These forces won a Gramophone award for their recording of the Tenth in 2011. They could be in line for another." Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 28/04/2013