The Boston Symphony Orchestra and their Music Director Andris Nelsons have announced a new recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, which will comprise of live recordings of Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos 5-10 plus incidental music from King Lear, Hamlet and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
The first album, 'Shostakovich under Stalin's Shadow', will feature Symphony No 10 and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and will be released in the summer of 2015. The second instalment of the series will be released in May 2016 and will be a double-album including Symphonies Nos 5, 8 and 9, and incidental music from Hamlet. The third release, due in summer 2017, will be another double-album of Symphonies Nos 6 and 7, plus music from King Lear.
Of the new partnership with DG, Nelsons said, 'I am completely thrilled and honoured to be leading this very exciting collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon. It is an immense privilege to focus on the music of Shostakovich, a composer of such great personal courage and virtue, whose extraordinary work transcends even the circumstances in which it was written, and is timeless on many levels. At the same time, with my formative years spent in Soviet Latvia, the music of Shostakovich in particular speaks to me personally in a distinctive way and I’m sure that special affinity will be communicated in these recordings.'
Nelsons recorded Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra live at the Lucerne Festival in 2011 (released on DVD and Blu-ray by C Major). Gramophone's reviewer, Peter Quantrill, wrote of this recording: 'He treats new tempi as points of arrival rather than departure, handling the first movement with no gear changes, bringing human warmth to a structure that often derives its impact from implacable (not to say dour) relentlessness and encouraging his wind soloists to phrase personally and vocally...I feel that the detail is so absorbing as to obscure the symphony’s point but, if you don’t care for Shostakovich, you may find this performance surprisingly convincing.'