Monday 4 June 2018
Press Release July 2018
Press release: Baarn, The Netherlands, June 2018
In July, PENTATONE releases two enthralling additions to their catalogue: Shostakovich Symphonies Nos. 4 & 10 with the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev; and Richard Strauss – Eine Alpensinfonie with Frankfurt-Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrés Orozco - Estrada.
The spirit of Gustav Mahler looms over the pages of Shostakovich’s turbulent, sprawling and enigmatic Symphony No. 4, a work so uncompromising that for many years he suppressed its performance, fearing public censure. Mixing bombast with banality, savagery with sarcasm, this baffling yet profound work is also one of his most startlingly original. It’s paired with his ever-popular Symphony No. 10, a brooding and lyrical masterpiece which is said to contain a musical portrait of JosephStalin in the impetuous second movement and in whose third and fourth movements Shostakovich artfully weaves a musical motif based on his own name which emerges resplendent in the spirited finale.
This triumphant release (under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev) is the latest in a series of recordings for PENTATONE by the Russian National Orchestra. Their Shostakovich cycle (also on PENTATONE) was widely acclaimed as “the most exciting cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to be put down on disc, and easily the best recorded.” (SACD.net). The Symphony No. 7, conducted Paavo Järvi, won the Diapason d’Or de l’année 2015 and was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound recording.
With its epic sweep and grandeur and compelling drama, there has rarely been such a spine-tingling and vivid depiction of nature as found in Richard Strauss’s magnificent tone poem, An Alpine Symphony. Calling for gargantuan orchestral forces, this lavishly illustrated journey is Strauss’s crowning orchestral achievement. Using a vast musical canvas packed with vivid and exquisite details, it’s a bold, optimistic and passionate work, unleashing ecstatic blazes of orchestral colour alongside moments of awestruck contemplation in a continuous narrative of 22 sections, which Strauss threads together with his usual mastery and aplomb.
The work is performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony conducted by podium sensation Andrés Orozco-Estrada. It marks their fourth release in a critically acclaimed series for PENTATONE. Their performance of Strauss’s Salome earned Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice (January 2018). Gramophone also praised their Ein Heldenleben “...the playing has an easy virtuosity … the love music swells and swoons magnificently”. And for their first recording, The Rite of Spring & The Firebird, Gramophone lauded their ability “to unearth an astonishing amount of detail at relatively spacious tempi” and “PENTATONE’s awesomely precise recording”.
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186628)