Valery Gergiev continues his acclaimed Shostakovich symphony cycle with his sixth release, a 2-albums set of three consecutive symphonies: numbers Four, Five, and Six. Shostakovich symphonies are often emotionally powerful and the three symphonies performed here are a particularly compelling and riveting combination.
Without doubt, the tortuous difficulty of adhering to vaguely articulated political dictates 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 acclamation and condemnation with the skill of a tight-rope walker than the experience he faced during the 1930s, the period when he composed his Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies.