July 31, 2015
Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s First Recording Under Deutsche Grammophon, Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow, Released Today, Friday, July 31
“All told, it’s clear this is the right match of conductor and repertoire, and one has high hopes for a cycle that seems poised to become one of the key projects of Nelsons’ tenure.” – Boston Globe
Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow marks the first release in a multi-year recording partnership between Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Released today, July 31, 2015, this recording features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Tomorrow, the day following the album release, Nelsons and the BSO will perform the Symphony No. 10 at Tanglewood.
The new recording initiative will focus on works composed during the period of Shostakovich’s difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime— starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s and the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony, and through the premiere of the composer’s Tenth Symphony, one of the composer’s finest, most characteristic orchestral works, purportedly written as a response to Stalin’s death in 1953. Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow features the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the opera that appalled Stalin and propelled Shostakovich out of the dictator’s favor, and the acclaimed Symphony No. 10. The album was recorded this past April at Symphony Hall in Boston.
“I could not live without the music of Shostakovich,” said Maestro Andris Nelsons in a recent interview from Symphony Hall. “I’m sure it has something to do with having grown up in the Soviet Union, and my connection to the conducting tradition there in St. Petersburg, his hometown, where I studied. But also I feel close to Shostakovich as a person, since he was naively shy rather like myself. I can’t entirely explain why I have such an intimate relationship with his music, but I feel like I know him, in a mystical way.”
Deutsche Grammophon and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s long history of celebrated recording projects dates back more than forty years and encompasses more than 100 recordings. The BSO’s relationship with the prestigious DG label was initiated in 1970 with a recording of Ives’s Three Places in New England, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas—the first BSO recording of music of Charles Ives. The most recent BSO Deutsche Grammophon recording, in 2007, was of Andre Previn’s Concerto for violin and contrabass, featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter and Roman Patkolo and conducted by Mr. Previn.
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