© 2013 London Philharmonic Orchestra Ltd
℗ 2013 BBC
Recorded by BBC Radio 3 live at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London on 30 October 1983
Mastering Engineer: Andrew Lang, K&A Productions
Publisher: © Anglo-Soviet Music Press Ltd (For Great Britain & British Commonwealth excluding Canada)
The London Philharmonic Orchestra wishes to thank Laurie Watt for facilitating the release of this recording.
Total playing time: 59:40
AAD Stereo
Released March 2013

CD: Shostakovich – Symphony No. 8

LPO conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–75)
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65

Gennady Rozhdestvensky conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Composed during the Second World War, Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is a powerful work that juxtaposes music of unremitting bleakness and moments of shattering brutality, ending in a tentative expression of optimism. Today it stands not only as a chilling reminder of some of the darkest days of the 20th century, but also as a reminder of Shostakovich's acute musical imagination and craftsmanship. Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in this live 1983 concert recording from Royal Festival Hall.

Listen First


‘It's a formidable performance, less self-consciously ironic than some, but immensely strong on raw power … Rozhdestvensky is particularly good at cumulative tension: the gathering dissonances of the first movement, the relentless pace of the second scherzo and the formal grief of the passacaglia are immaculately judged.’
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 7 March 2013

‘The very fact that it is a live performance brings a special intensity that grips the listener. Rozhdestvensky, a quixotic and unpredictable conductor, clearly inspired the superb musicians of the LPO to give of their best on that occasion, and, not for the first time, I marvel at the sheer resilience of orchestral players who are able to pour their hearts and minds into a work so taxing in every respect.’
William Hedley, MusicWeb International

‘Rozhdestvensky and the London Philharmonic Orchestra communicate a tangible sense of authenticity in what is a tense live performance from 1983. The physical and spiritual tinta of the music is drawn in suitably unadorned colours, raw in resistance, pallid in desolation.’
Edward Seckerson, Gramophone, July 2013

‘It took 30 years for the London Philharmonic Orchestra to release, on its own label, the live performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky on October 30, 1983. At least some listeners will think it has been worth the wait… Rozhdestvensky’s careful marshaling of his forces and his close attentiveness to the symphony’s structural underpinnings make this a highly effective and emotionally compelling reading.’
Infodad.com, 4 April 2013

'Rozhdestvensky had been at the apex of Shostakovich interpreters for years, even in 1983, and his experience shows in the flowing tempo and rhythmic variation in the huge adagio arc of the first movement without losing either drama or intensity. The string playing is first rate ... No hesitation, then, recommending this version beside contemporary readings by Wigglesworth and Gergiev.'
Greg Keane, Limelight, 26 September 2013

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