Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 15 (Remaster 2015) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Vasily Petrenko

Cover Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 15 (Remaster 2015)

Album info



Label: 2xHD - Naxos

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): Symphony No. 2, Op. 14, 'Oktyabryu' (To October)
  • 1Largo -05:40
  • 2Poco meno mosso -06:51
  • 3Meno mosso05:57
  • Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141
  • 4I. Allegretto08:08
  • 5II. Adagio17:25
  • 6III. Allegretto03:49
  • 7IV. Adagio19:13
  • Total Runtime01:07:03

Info for Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 15 (Remaster 2015)

These two hugely contrasting symphonies come from the opposite ends of Shostakovich’s life and career. The Second Symphony was written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Bolshevik October Revolution. Its advanced idiom of experimental textures and abstract effects can perhaps be best described as organised musical chaos. The Fifteenth was Shostakovich’s last symphony and is filled with remarkable contrasts, from the rollicking quotes from Rossini’s William Tell Overture and eerie references to Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and Tristan und Isolde, to the last and perhaps most imaginative of the composer’s symphonic passacaglias.

Widely admired as having ‘superlative standards’ (BBC Music Magazine) and going ‘from strength to strength’ (Gramophone), Vasily Petrenko’s Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Shostakovich symphonic cycle has gained critical acclaim from every quarter, and each new release generates its own not inconsiderable gravitational field. Volume 7 cleverly pairs the ‘difficult’ but remarkably dramatic Second Symphony with the simultaneously rousing, enigmatic and emotionally draining Fifteenth in performances which once again set new standards.

“Petrenko's hallmark of winning careful but always meaningful articulation from his Liverpool players is as apparent in the outlines of the woodwind and brass uproar at the centre of the early collage as it is in the last Symphony's skeletal solos...As so often, Petrenko shows the deepest sensitivity in going straight to the heart of the matter, and forward sound-balances for violins and celesta especially serve him well.” (BBC Music Magazine)

„Vasily Petrenko makes the piece [Second Symphony] remarkably palatable, taking some liberties with dynamics…and the choral finale is really pretty enjoyable. He actually succeeds in making the dawn of the Socialist Realist paradise kind of plausible…you might even want to repeat the experience now and again. …Petrenko’s bold attack on the opening movement [Fifteenth Symphony] and very swift account of the scherzo produces a reading of high contrasts, strong in biting wit.“ (David Hurwitz,

“the accepts the symphony's puzzles and paradoxes, playing down its moments of aggression...and highlighting, instead, its erratic bursts of wonder and its uneasy sense of bewilderment. I don't mean to suggest that Petrenko is in any way weak-willed. There's plenty of gravity in the second movement...In the end, though, you're likely to remember this performance for its moments of disorientation...another splendid release in an exceptional cycle.” (International Record Review)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor

Recorded at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England on 14th June 2011 (tracks 1-3),
and on 26th and 27th October 2010 (tracks 4-7)
Produced and edited by Andrew Walton (tracks 1-3) and Peter Newble (tracks 4-7)
Engineered by Mike Clements (tracks 1-3) and Andrew Lang (tracks 4-7)

Digitally remastered

Vasily Petrenko - Conductor
Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the orchestra in September 2006 and in September 2009 became Chief Conductor. He is also Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and in 2013 will become Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the Classical BRIT Awards Male Artist of the Year 2010 and the Classic FM/Gramophone Young Artist of the Year 2007. In 2009 he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University. He now works with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Russian National, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and his wide operatic repertoire includes Macbeth (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Le Villi, I due Foscari and Boris Godunov (Netherlands Reisopera), Pique Dame (Hamburg State Opera) and Eugene Onegin (Opéra de Paris, Bastille). Recordings with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony (2009 Classic FM/Gramophone Orchestral Recording of the Year) (Naxos 8.570568), an ongoing Shostakovich cycle, and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and complete Piano Concertos.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is Britain’s oldest surviving 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 orchestra gives over sixty concerts each season in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and tours widely throughout the United Kingdom and internationally, most recently touring to China, Switzerland, France, Spain, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic. In recent seasons, world première performances have included major works by Sir John Tavener, Karl Jenkins, Michael Nyman and Jennifer Higdon, John McCabe, Emily Howard, Gary Carpenter, Mark Simpson and Kenneth Hesketh. Recent additions to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s extensive and critically acclaimed recording catalogue include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony (2009 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year), the world première performance of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem, the first six discs of an ongoing Shostakovich cycle (the recording of Symphony No. 10 is the 2011 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year), Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, and Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 and Nos. 1 and 4 with Simon Trpčeski; and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir & Chorus Master: Ian Tracey
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir has always been central to the life of Liverpool Philharmonic. Its members are drawn from all walks of life and travel from all parts of the Liverpool City Region, and beyond, to take part in the choir’s activities. The choir’s repertoire covers all periods and styles from Bach to newly commissioned works, with full symphony orchestra and unaccompanied, and it also plays a leading rôle in the famous Liverpool Philharmonic Carol Concerts. The choir has performed in many of the major British concert venues, has sung with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Philharmonic, and has undertaken several foreign tours, both independently and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Ian Tracey has been Chorus Master since 1985 and has travelled with the choir both in Britain and abroad.

Booklet for Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 15 (Remaster 2015)

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