One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Buy through MusicWeb for £14.30 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button




Valentin SILVESTROV (b.1937)
Symphony No.6 (1994-95) [54:20]
SWR Stuttgart Radio SO/Andrey Boreyko
rec. June 2005, Stadthalle, Sindelfingen. co-production ECM/Südwestrundfunk
ECM NEW SERIES ECM 1935 [54:20] 


This symphony, we are told, draws to a conclusion the sequence of sumptuous Mahlerian works that began with the Fourth Symphony and which is voiced most famously in the several times recorded Fifth. One other composer also comes to mind although in overall mood terms he is Silvestrov’s antipodes. That is Allan Pettersson whose visions of ecstasy are always washed over with tears and hard won from inimical human forces. 

The language of this symphony gleams starrily yet thunders, rumbles and groans in protest. The five movement work starts as if caught midway through a great wounded groan and proceeds into slowly thoughtful darkness. It is as if we hear a protesting defiant creature somehow superhuman, pained and serene. Silvestrov is unintimidated by sentimentality as we can hear in a melody close to the film music of John Barry at the start of the long third movement. There is a Bergian luxuriance and romantic nostalgia about the writing (II, 4:32). In the penultimate Intermezzo a misty-eyed exhaustion radiates through for the solo piano amid sighing and wispy string textures. With a steely dazzle the finale opens in an analogue of the first movement with rapture counter-pointed by melodramatic brass-articulated horror. 

The thoughtful notes are by Herbert Glossner and Tatjana Frumkis. I just wish there had been more biographical insight from the composer who is seen in two photographs in the booklet. 

The symphony is dedicated to Virko Baley. 

If, as is claimed, the composer is trying to express a vision of utopia it is a warm and comforting vision made the more enthralling by a tectonic violence which causes the landscape to heave and shudder. 

Rob Barnett 



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.