- 4 years ago
As Vasily Petrenko’s much-lauded Shostakovich symphony cycle moves closer to completion we reach the renegade Fourth Symphony written in 1935 and driven underground by Stalin and his establishment naysayers. This astonishing piece - which remained unperformed for 25 years until 1961 when Kondrashin in Russia and Eugene Ormandy in the USA brought it in from the cold - represents the moment, in Petrenko’s view, when Shostakovich really became Shostakovich and with significant inspiration from Gustav Mahler on matters of sonata-form and the lethal deployment of irony was able to leave prescribed traditions behind and forge a path of his own. As with every release in this series, Petrenko talks to Edward Seckerson about the cycle in general, the piece in particular, and some very personal conclusions of his own.
image: Vasily Petrenko by Mark_McNulty