SHOSTAKOVICH Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7

"Bernstein conveys the harrowing wartime narrative of the Leningrad with overwhelming emotional power, dispelling any lingering doubts about the greatness of Shostakovich's work. Recorded 20 years ago, this still remains the benchmark performance." --BBC Music Magazine, December 2008

"This issue won a Grammy in 1991 and I am not surprised. The engineers have excelled in creating a wide dynamic range which encompasses the very quietest of whispers and the largest orchestral sound thrown at them – and there are some very big sounds from the full orchestra." --MusicWeb International

One of the most thrilling musical experiences of my life was seeing Leonard Bernstein and the Chicago Symphony play Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony live. As Bernstein wrung every last ounce of pathos from the slow movement, I found it incredible that anyone could ever have thought this less than great music. The ending was so loud you could hardly even hear the cymbals! Happily, every bit of that experience--including the full dynamic range--has been captured on this recording, along with a terrific First Symphony. This is one of the great ones. --David Hurwitz

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