CD: Classical review: Shostakovich: Symphony No 10, LPO/Haitink; Symphony No 4, Chicago SO/Haitink

(LPO), (CSO-Resound, CD & DVD)

Bernard Haitink's cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies for Decca, studio recordings from the 1980s, remains one of the finest available on disc. The accounts of the Fourth and 10th are not among its highlights, however, so these live performances, from a concert in Chicago in May this year and a BBC recording from the Proms in London in 1986, provide a very useful update. Haitink's 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 10th is almost equally impressive: taut and controlled in the first movement, wonderfully introspective in the third movement Allegretto and the introduction to the finale.

Shostakovich: Symphony No 4, Chicago SO/Haitink
(CSO-Resound, CD & DVD) £12.99
4 stars
Click here to buy Shostakovich: Symphony No 4

Shostakovich: Symphony No 10, LPO/Haitink
(LPO) £8.99
4 stars
Click here to buy Shostakovich: Symphony No 10


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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