Critics now compare his Eighth Symphony with Beethovens Fifth, Bruckners Eighth and Mahler's Second, symphonies that depict mankind in decisive moments of truth, pain and death.
Oleg Caetani, son of the famed Igor Markevitch and recent appointee as resident conductor and artistic director of the Melbourne Symphony, has these comments on this major work from Shostakovich's canon: "Shostakovich's Eighth represents the pinnacle and final stage of a period of composition that ends with the Second World War. I consider it to be wholly bound up with the wartime experiences of all the Russian people, their victory over Nazism, and the enormous sacrifice it cost them, which can be perceived particularly in the coda of the last movement in an empty, resigned C Major. The Toccata in the third movement truly is a portrait of a battle between Russian and German tanks, probably the battle of Kursk. But this Toccata can also be interpreted as a person shut in a small room banging his head as he cannot get out. I always reflect on this point: for the Russians, after the tragedy of the Stalinist purges of the Thirties, winning the war could not be seen as liberation."
This remarkable powerful live performance, in SACD sound, fully does the work justice.
"this symphony comes alive in an apocalyptic manner...Oleg Caetanis account is surely one of the best available" - Classical.net
"The sound of his (Oleg Caetanis) Milan orchestra is gorgeous, perfectly captured on this disc....there is exquisite attention to detail" - DSCH Journal
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Oleg Caetani, conductor
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 8 in c minor, Op. 65 (1943)
1. I - Adagio-Allegro non troppo
2. II - Allegretto
3. III - Allegro non troppo
4. IV - Largo
5. V - Allegretto
Total Time: 53:05