Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
The Fifteen Symphonies
Mikhail Petrenko (bass); Polina Pastirchak (soprano); Dimitry Ivashchenko (bass)
MDR Rundfunkchor, Estonian National Male Choir
Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling
rec. 2015–19, Lukaskirche; Kulturpalast, Dresden
Full sung texts with English translations
SONY CLASSICAL 19075872462 [11 CDs: 718:11]
Earlier this year the Dresdner Philharmonie under Michael Sanderling released a box set of the complete Beethoven symphonies on Sony - see review. Sanderling and the orchestra have now released this outstanding set of the fifteen Shostakovich symphonies, also on Sony. After serving as principal conductor of the Dresdner Philharmonie for eight years, Michael Sanderling stepped down at the end of the 2018/19 season and will be succeeded by Marek Janowski as principal conductor and artistic director from the 2019/20 season.
The fifteen Shostakovich symphonies took almost four years to record and use two Dresden locations: the six at Lukaskirche were recorded under studio conditions and the nine at Kulturpalast are mixed recordings, employing part-live performance and part-studio conditions. With the Beethoven and Shostakovich sets of complete symphonies, Michael Sanderling leaves an impressive legacy of his time with the Dresdner Philharmonie. Michael’s father, conductor Kurt Sanderling who died in 2011, had a close friendship and working relationship with Shostakovich which must have had a bearing on the shape and course Michael’s conducting takes with this complete set.
It’s important to point out that five of these Michael Sanderling recordings of Shostakovich symphonies, nos. 1, 5, 6, 10 and 13, have already been separately released, each coupled with a Beethoven symphony on Sony. I have already reviewed those five recordings separately and here I give a condensed version of those reviews. Michael Sanderling’s remaining ten symphonies here, nos. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14 and 15, are being released for the first time and are only available currently as part of this box. For each symphony I am providing a review containing what I see as the most crucial aspects of Michael Sanderling’s performances. Naturally I have my own first choice recordings of each symphony, but here I am dealing only with competing complete sets. Suffice to say that I wouldn’t want to be without the five symphonies that Kurt Sanderling recorded with the Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester on Berlin Classics (nos. 1, 5, 6, 8 and 15).
In 2010 I interviewed Vasily Petrenko (chief conductor of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), who was recording a cycle of Shostakovich symphonies for Naxos. A comment he made is revealing. “In all of them I see a progression, even though we don’t record them in date order. With all of them we can follow the history of his biography and the history of Russia in the twentieth-century because they are all closely related to the events of the years that they were written. They are evocative of the events of the political and cultural life of the time in Russia.”
Shostakovich completed his First Symphony in 1925 as his graduation piece at Petrograd Conservatory and its success soon made his name known internationally. Although there is plenty of Shostakovich’s own personality in the writing, this was a time when he was susceptible to a number of influences that shaped the score: in particular, Rimsky-Korsakov in the orchestration, Tchaikovsky, whose works he revered, as well as Conservatoire director Glazunov and the music of his older contemporaries Stravinsky and Prokofiev.
It doesn’t take long to determine that Michael Sanderling and his players have the full measure of the First, conveying what sounds like a freshness of discovery. Throughout there is a clarity and fluidity to the playing, which is eminently responsive to the lightning quick changes in tempi and mood. Standing out within the remarkable playing of the third movement is the dark, bleak character produced in the brooding Largo section.
Written in 1927, Shostakovich’s Second Symphony, ‘To October’, for orchestra and mixed choir, was a commission to mark the tenth anniversary of the October Bolshevik Revolution (1917). A single movement in three parts, this is one of the composer’s most unique and progressive scores, yet together with the Third it is rarely heard. An unashamedly propaganda work, its choral Finale uses a text by the poet Alexander Bezymensk and became known as ‘Symphonic Dedication – To October’.
This uncommon work of overt flag waving Bolshevik propaganda is taken entirely seriously by the Dresdner Philharmonie, performing without any sense of ignominy. With Michael Sanderling drawing the orchestral and choral forces together commendably and shaping impressive climaxes, this sounds like more than a work of mere bombastic clamour, in spite of the factory siren. My highlight is part two, notably the dramatic effect produced by the savage climaxes. Under chorus master Pavel Brochin, the well drilled MDR Rundfunkchor makes quite an impact.
Coming close on the heels of the Second, the Third Symphony, ‘The First of May’, also has a strong propaganda purpose. Both are indispensable parts of Shostakovich’s development and a window on the political environment for musicians at the time. Comparable in form to the Second, this is also a single movement work. The score, which is divided into five sections, is equated in the booklet essay to “a sequence of cinema scenes.” The choral Finale sets Semyon Kirsanov’s blatantly banner waving, proletarian text in tribute of the ‘The First of May’, the revolutionary festival holiday.
Michael Sanderling clearly understands the cinematic disposition of the music that swings from the frivolous to a near constant state of unsettling anxiety that develops to fever pitch. Powerfully driven and penetrating, Sanderling’s performance maintains relentless tempi and forward momentum. By contrast, in the third section, Andante, Sanderling creates a chilly and unwelcoming character in writing that wouldn’t be amiss in a film score. As with the Second, the MDR Rundfunkchor provides real conviction to the patriotic Communist message of the choral Finale.
Soviet composers were required to write mainstream music to celebrate the traditions of the Soviet culture. In 1936 the Soviet leader Josef Stalin was appalled by Shostakovich’s opera ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’. Soviet state newspaper Pravda ran a condemnatory editorial titled ‘Muddle Instead of Music’, banning the opera, denouncing Shostakovich as “an enemy of the people” and placing him in dishonour. Following his official censure, Shostakovich bowed to pressure from Communist Party officials and withdrew his Fourth Symphony during rehearsals in 1936. It was over a quarter of a century before the score was finally introduced in 1961.
In this lengthy work, which is so challenging to pull off, Michael Sanderling pushes his players strongly and they respond with a performance of impetus and real potency. I relish passages of impetuous mockery through to the feverish levels of intensity and volume of a thrust that can feel like body punches. In the Finale, after the ferocious concluding climax, the sense of absolute stillness with the eerie sound of the prominent celeste leaves behind a chilling sense of detachment. Full of concentration and resolve, this is a scorching performance from the Philharmonie of a work that can feel heavy and lumbering in the wrong hands.
Shostakovich agreed to his Fifth Symphony being titled ‘A Soviet Artist’s Response to Just Criticism’. In hope of rehabilitation with the Soviet authorities, Shostakovich composed his Fifth in a more openly conservative style and its première in 1937 was a triumph.
With playing of cool, stark beauty under Michael Sanderling, the Philharmonie give a performance that feels totally sincere, with a marvellous sound. Especially effective is the Largo, where Sanderling successfully evokes an intensely austere landscape, laid waste, an image Shostakovich surely intended. At point 8.17, a dramatic passage begun gently by the flute and taken up by the strings, with the writing gradually developing in power, produces a strange feeling of anxiety and disorientation. Without the near-physical effect of some accounts, such as Kurt Sanderling (1982, Berlin Classics), this is a performance that conveys a compelling level of emotional intensity.
Conscious of continuing his rehabilitation with the Soviet authorities, at first Shostakovich was unsure how to follow the triumph of the Fifth and concentrated on other works such as film scores and the Suite No. 2 for Jazz Band. Written in 1939 during the awful insecurities of an intense phase of Stalinist tyranny, the Sixth Symphony is a contrast to its predecessor with Shostakovich pledging to “express moods of spring, of happiness and youth.”
In the Sixth, Michael Sanderling generates a high level of power and passion yet remains in control, with playing from the Philharmonie that feels fresh and polished. Outstanding is the uplifting central movement Allegro, where Sanderling provides vivid colour and a sense of wonder, although the undertow of anxiety makes one question the authenticity of the composer’s intent. Highly effective is the way Sanderling astutely develops the central episode of powerful turmoil. Throughout the performance, Sanderling creates a discernible undercurrent of tension and anxiety in writing which must surely reflect the composer’s underlying vulnerabilities.
Completed in 1940 the Seventh known as ‘Leningrad’ quickly became one of the composer’s famous works. Resonating with rhythms like hammer blows the score unquestionably reflects the Soviet citizens heroic resistance during the traumatic siege of Leningrad. Premièred in 1942 at Kuybyshev, for propaganda purposes a microfilm of the score was famously smuggled out of the Soviet Union to the West and a performance was given in New York City under Toscanini for live radio broadcast, heard by up to 20 million people.
The Seventh often comes in for a bad press but it’s a work I enjoy hearing, especially in concert performance. Michael Sanderling profits from knowing this orchestra so well, shaping the music outstandingly, taking full advantage of the Philharmonie’s energy and enthusiasm. In the vast and infamous opening movement Allegretto, which might easily depict ‘Warfare’, there are accounts of more savagery. Nevertheless, this is thrilling playing, making a forceful impression that drew me into the threatening sound world. Especially successful is the swirling Adagio, with Sanderling revealing a stark picture of the hostile landscapes of the Russian winter. The final movement, Allegro non troppo, efficaciously builds an increasing degree of tension, providing a highly charged closing passage.
Quickly written in 1943 the Eight Symphony was premièred the same year. Though a stirring piece had been expected of Shostakovich, the result was a five-moment score that his friend Isaak Glikman described as the composer’s “most tragic work.” Although popular with audiences, the symphony, written under an environment of oppression from the Soviet authorities, suffered considerable criticism and was denounced.
My litmus test for performances of the Eighth is how effectively conductors burrow deep into the fabric of the score. The results from Sanderling are affecting and can leave the listener bereft of consolation. Standing out is the opening movement, with Sanderling’s players providing an unashamed and virtually unremitting expression of the traumatic suffering of war. Notable, too, is the third movement, a toccata which remorselessly pounds its way forward. Probably the most difficult movement to pull off well is the penultimate Largo, written as a passacaglia, which opens here after a cataclysmic climax, and quickly develops a stifling airlessness of a near claustrophobic quality to a level I’ve not encountered before.
A product of 1945, the five movement Ninth was anticipated as a triumphant, grand symphony to praise Stalin and celebrate the Soviet triumph over Germany. Its neo-classical form and inconsequential nature can be judged as rebelliousness, a way of mocking the authorities. Jewish elements such as folk themes have been recognised in the writing too, doubtless a way of acknowledging Jewish persecution. In 1948 Shostakovich, together with other composers, was denounced for writing unsuitable and ‘formalist’ music – he was threatened, had privileges withdrawn and was dismissed from his post at the Moscow Conservatory. Much of his music was banned, including the Ninth, which wasn’t performed again until 1955.
Often with Shostakovich, matters are not always what they initially seem on the surface and in my view the Ninth is a model example. Completely bereft of victorious grandeur, Michael Sanderling sets ideal weight and tempi for the mockingly frivolous mood of the opening movement Allegro, revealing just glimpses of a seriousness lying underneath. In the fourth movement Largo, the emotional core of the score, Sanderling underlines its predominantly somber character. Highly effective is the prominent yet forlorn passage on the bassoon, possibly evoking a mourner’s kaddish as found in Jewish services. In the Finale: Allegretto – Allegro, Sanderling shrewdly provides a superficial sense of jollity but it’s not sincere, having a tongue in cheek quality.
Stalin’s death in 1953 produced more favourable circumstances for Shostakovich and in response he presented his Tenth Symphony – his first in eight years. Some commentators have identified a hidden programme in the Tenth, including the Scherzo as a portrait of Stalin as contentiously stated in Solomon Volkov’s book Testimony. Premièred at Leningrad in 1953, the Tenth is undoubtedly a pivotal work, arguably Shostakovich’s greatest out of his fifteen symphonies. Vasily Petrenko has highlighted discernable connections in the music between Shostakovich and his pupil Elmira Nazirova. In the third movement Elmira’s name is represented by a five-note horn motif repeated a dozen times and answered by the composer’s personal motif DSCH.
Michael Sanderling’s insight and controlled precision in this epic masterwork reveals an intensity of expression that suits the writing down to the ground. In the massive opening movement, Allegro con brio, Sanderling directs with innate proficiency allowing the music to build impressively while generating an unsettling undertow of nervous anxiety. Short in length but highly concentrated, the martial-like, brutality of the second movement Allegro could easily be a representation of the malevolent evil of Stalin. Sanderling’s interpretation of the third movement Allegretto is engagingly penetrating, at turns menacingly dark, bitterly sardonic and majestically uplifting. In the atmospheric closing movement, Andante – Allegro, Sanderling communicates a strong sense of optimism, a spring-like renewal after a severe winter, whilst maintaining relentless momentum towards the awesome drama of the conclusion.
Subtitled ‘The Year 1905’, the Eleventh Symphony celebrates the Russian Revolution of 1905, when workers marched on the Winter Palace and guards opened fire, killing and wounding hundreds. Completed and premièred in 1957, the Eleventh was seen as the composer’s response to the 1956 Hungarian uprising against Soviet imposed policies. Its four movements are given specific titles: The Palace Square; The Ninth of January; Eternal Memory and Tocsin, although the score has been disparaged by some as nothing more than film music.
The Philharmonie under Michael Sanderling unerringly demonstrate their brilliance and understanding of Shostakovich’s sound world. Characteristically unshowy and fluid, Sanderling avoids any unnecessary dense textures and heavy sound. Whilst successfully building and releasing tension, Sanderling ensures that expression or dynamics are never underplayed. In the opening movement, The Palace Square, a sense of hazy, nervous anticipation is created. Despite some slight untidiness, the brutality of the massacre depicted in The Ninth of January is convincingly conveyed and sees Sanderling tightening the screw to an almost unbearable level of dramatic tension. Next come In Memoriam. a type of funeral march which unfolds complete with heavy percussion to provide a harrowing experience. Under Sanderling the Finale, entitled Tocsin, is a cold-blooded display of pent-up aggression, a protest against the wrongs perpetrated by the Palace Guards, yet remains focused. The tam-tam crash at 8.28 marks the aftermath, leaving an uncomfortable sense of incredulity and disenchantment which develops into a state of bloodthirsty revenge.
Shostakovich became a Communist Party member in 1960, which allowed him to become secretary of the Composer’s Union. The Twelfth Symphony, composed in 1961 and subtitled ‘The Year 1917’, is a celebration of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and dedicated to Lenin. The programmatic four-movement score describes the October Revolution in the manner of large-scale music tableaux with the titles Revolutionary Petrograd, Razliv, Aurora and Dawn of Humanity.
Committed and focused, the performance of the Twelfth sees Michael Sanderling and his players at the top of their game. In the first movement, entitled Revolutionary Petrograd, Sanderling drives forward powerfully and decisively, shaping the dynamics splendidly in a dramatic interpretation of awesome climaxes that might easily depict the agitation of the Soviet people as a result of social turmoil. The second movement is entitled Razliv, after the village near Petrograd where in 1917 Lenin was in hiding, plotting the October uprising. Here the near-unrelenting salvos of the Dresdner percussion battery assault the nerve endings. Sanderling provides an intense sound world, swirling with an uncomfortable sense of mystery and foreboding. The short and fiery Scherzo, entitled Aurora, is the name of the battle cruiser whose blank shot at the Winter Palace signalled the commencement of the Revolution. Sanderling ensures a powerful and triumphant image of the Russian people rising up in revolt. In the heroic tone of the finale, optimistically named The Dawn of Humanity, Sanderling confidently maintains the sharpness and momentum of the interminable repetitions of triumph which sink into the mocking vulgarity that the composer must surely have wanted.
Shostakovich completed his Thirteenth Symphony, scored for bass soloist, male chorus and orchestra, in 1962. Each of the five movements sets texts from different Yevgeny Yevtushenko poems. The first movement is set to Babi Yar, which refers to the site near Kiev of the slaughter of thousands of Jews by Nazi forces and collaborators during World War Two. In spite of the slight thaw in the political climate since Stalin’s death, setting the text to Babi Yar, which had become a symbol for Jewish suffering, was a provocative act and Shostakovich was taking a major risk. The Soviet authorities tried to sabotage the first performance in 1962, although it went ahead.
In the Thirteenth, Michael Sanderling draws his vocal and orchestral forces together with real assurance. Steadfast Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko is in rich focused voice and conveys Yevtushenko’s harrowing, yet frequently scornful text with fresh expression. The opening Adagio, entled Babi Yar, is a totally compelling example of Shostakovich at his finest. The text comments on the Babi Yar massacre and protests that the absence of a memorial serves to hide and minimise its significance. Although it is unsettling and harrowing in character, it also has a steely beauty which Sanderling unfailingly reveals. Movement two, Humour ,is a heavily sardonic Scherzo about the power of humour, but Sanderling is able to bring out an unsettling undertow. As the writing becomes weightier, progressively angry and highly menacing, I am always struck by the words “They’ve hidden humour away in dungeons, but they hadn’t a hope in hell.” In the third movement, an Adagio named At the Store, Sanderling perceptively underlines the miserable trudging mood which depicts the incessant drudgery of Russian women’s existence and the shortages they endure. Sanderling is alert as the writing gradually develops into a series of thunderous climaxes before slowly dying away. Here the bass part has to surmount a higher register, but Petrenko incisively maintains his admirable form. The Largo fourth movement, Fear, includes the setting of the graphic words “Fears slithered everywhere like shadows, penetrating every floor”. Here Sanderling sustains a bleak, threatening tone. The build-up to the shattering climax at 10:17, followed by a tolling bell, is remarkably effective. Sanderling finds a predominantly glowing quality in the captivating final movement Career, an Allegretto. Yevtushenko’s text tells of men from history who sacrificed their careers for their beliefs. Petrenko’s rendition of the final verse is impressive and striking. The Russian bass is in magnificent form throughout and seems to inspire the Estonian National Male Choir, who give a memorable performance, singing with clear focus and unity, providing penetrating drama.
I view the Fourteenth Symphony from 1969, unusually scored for soprano, bass, string orchestra and percussion, as a twentieth-century masterwork. Employing twelve-tone themes and dense polyphony, this is a complex but high-quality score with the ability to affect the listener powerfully. Requiring two soloists, a soprano and bass, to sing in Russian doubtless explains the relative neglect of the work in the concert hall. Shostakovich had suffered a heart-attack prior to writing the piece and this must have influenced the character of the score. Markedly, the principal unifying themes of the texts are the subject of “death and death-devoted love”, as described in the notes. In the manner of a song cycle rather than a traditional symphony, the eleven movements comprise evocative settings of texts by poets who died young - Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker and Rilke. Shostakovich originally set these in Russian translations.
The Fourteenth is a highly moving work, which I view as reflecting the composer’s torment living under Stalin’s rule. Under Michael Sanderling, the score is in ideal hands. The predominant feature in this live performance, across all eleven movements, is the searing level of disturbing intensity which is generated and maintained throughout. Standing out is the third movement, a setting of Apollinaire’s Loreley, a lament which might easily relate to the pain of enforced separation between persons sent to the Gulag and those left at home. Soloists Polina Pastirchak (a Hungarian soprano of Russian roots) and Dimitry Ivashchenko (a Russian bass) are most successful in bringing out conspicuous emotional depth and their voices contrast starkly, which feels ideal. Movement four, The Suicide, employs a text by Apollinaire and was said to deeply have deeply affected the composer during rehearsals for its première. With her bright, strong and distinctive soprano, Pastirchak sings with an authentic feeling for the disturbing text, beginning and ending with the words “Three lilies, three lilies, growing on my grave where no cross stands.”Movement six is a duet setting of another Apollinaire poem, Madam, Look! It is a most convincing representation of the sheer demoralisation of existing in a perpetually unnerving state of tension and dread. Movement seven uses a further Apollinaire text, At the Santé Prison, and is a harrowing depiction of physical strain and mental torment. With low, dark strings predominating, Ivashchenko’s focused tone communicates a shadowy menace, heard to striking effect.
Shostakovich wrote his Fifteenth Symphony in just a few weeks in 1971. Experiencing chronic ill-health, the composer had been in hospital and his writing in this period is inward-looking and typically imbued with dark coloration. In every movement, the writing includes aspects of twelve-tone composition, yet it remains a most accessible and melodic work. Full of ambiguity, the composer infuses his music with multiple layers of coded political messages and quotes Rossini’s William Tell overture, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and The Ring cycle, with references to Glinka, Beethoven, Mahler, Richard Strauss et al plus his own works.
Michael Sanderling and the Dresdner Philharmonie resoundingly demonstrate their prowess in the Fifteenth, revelling in Shostakovich’s carnival-like, if curious, sound world. Whatever is being conveyed in the writing, such as the repeated quotation from the William Tell overture, the music under Sanderling has an authentic, engaging quality, from the glockenspiel chimes in the toyshop-like world of the first movement to the clinking glockenspiel sound (maybe prisoners communicating with each other by tapping on cell bars) that decay away to end the score. A highlight for me is the first movement, which the composer apparently said “describes, childhood, a toy-shop, with cloudless sky above”. Sanderling provides vitality and an edgy quality which is palpable. In the second movement, Sanderling is a master at providing the bleakness, the sense of sheer emptiness that the music requires. At 7.45 the mood becomes darker and even gloomier. The sudden eruption at 10.49 into a loud climax which eventually gives way to writing of a hollow, bleak character, is particularly impressive.
To sum up, throughout this epic cycle with its gamut of intense emotions, Michael Sanderling conspicuously demonstrates his perception and maturity, blended with conviction and controlled power. With outstanding command of tempi and dynamics, Sanderling shuns the use of excessive weight and thick and abrasive textures unless it is completely necessary. With relatively few exceptions, the playing of the Dresdner Philharmonie is consistently outstanding, striking in its impressive clarity, unity and level of expression, which all combine with such unquestionable integrity. I appreciate hearing the lovely golden sheen of the high strings, the rich tone of the cellos and basses, and the glorious sound of the expressive winds. It would be remiss not to mention the individual solo instrumental contributions of the principals, which are very fine indeed. Impressive throughout too is the singing of the three soloists and two choruses.
Commendably serving the music, all the recordings were produced in Dresden at Lukaskirche, a renowned location for studio recordings, and the newly and extensively refurbished Kulturpalast, which has superb acoustics. The Sony sound team excel in providing clarity, presence and a generally excellent balance which overall serves the music well. Those recorded live at Kulturpalast have very little extraneous sound to worry about and the applause at the conclusion of the works has been taken out. Jens Scubbe is the author of the booklet essay which gives a most helpful overview of the symphonies. I’m pleased to report that full sung texts with parallel English translations are given in the booklet.
There are several complete sets of the fifteen symphonies that I wouldn’t wish to be without. Recommendable for its dependable quality of performance and considerable insights is Rudolf Barshai with the WDR Sinfonieorchester, recorded at the Philharmonie, Cologne in 1992/2000 on Brilliant Classics. There is also the compelling set with Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded 2008/13 at Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool on Naxos. On BIS, a set from Mark Wigglesworth with the Netherlands Radio PO has received considerable credit in some quarters. I have also enjoying hearing those symphonies released so far in the projected complete cycle from the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons on Deutsche Grammophon. Michael Sanderling and the Dresdner Philharmonie have put heart and soul into this Shostakovich cycle and the result is worthy of considerable acclaim. If I had to choose a single set it would be this.
List of works:
CD 1 [78:09]
Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 (1925) [33:41]
rec. 23/24 March 2017 Lukaskirche, Dresden
Symphony No. 2 in B major, Op. 14 "To October" (1927) [16: 19]
MDR Rundfunkchor (chorus master: Pavel Brochin)
rec. 12/18 January 2019 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 20 "First of May" (1929) [28:09]
MDR Rundfunkchor (chorus master: Pavel Brochin)
rec. 12/18 January 2019 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
CD 2 [65:34]
Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1935-6) [65:34]
rec. 5/7 September 2016 Lukaskirche, Dresden
CD 3 [79:22]
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 (1937) [47.56]
rec. 9/11 October 2017 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54 (1939) [31.26]
rec. 13/17 March 2015 Lukaskirche, Dresden
CD 4 [78:24]
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 "Leningrad" (1941) [78:24]
rec. 14/16 February 2017 Lukaskirche, Dresden
CD 5 [67:32]
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943) [67:32]
rec. 23/26 August 2016 Lukaskirche, Dresden
CD 6 [67:13]
Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 (1945) [26.55]
rec. 6/8 October 2018 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112 "The Year 1917" (1961) [40:58]
rec. 26/29 May 2017 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
CD 7 [56:05]
Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953) [56:05]
rec. 8/10 September 2015 Lukaskirche, Dresden
CD 8 [65:19]
Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 "The Year 1905" (1957) [65:19]
rec. 29 June/3 July 2018 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
CD 9 [63:53]
Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor "Babi Yar" (1962) [63.53]
Mikhail Petrenko (bass),
Estonian National Male Choir, (chorus master: Mikk Üleoja)
rec. 10/14 February 2018 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
CD 10 [47:46]
Symphony No. 14, Op. 135 (1969) [47:46]
Polina Pastirchak (soprano); Dimitry Ivashchenko (bass)
rec. 12/18 January 2019 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
CD 11 [48:59]
Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141 (1971) [48:59]
rec. 12/15 February 2019 Kulturpalast, Dresden (part live concert/part studio conditions)
Dresdner Philharmonie / Michael Sanderling