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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks

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The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra enjoyed a long and intensive artistic collaboration, which was brought to an abrupt end by his death in October 2021. BR-KLASSIK is now presenting outstanding live recordings of concerts from the past years that have not yet been released. This recording of Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony documents a concert given in September 2006 at Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig.

For Shostakovich's contemporaries, educated in the spirit of Socialist Realism, it was clear that the Eighth Symphony had to have a programme and, even more specifically, a topical reference to current events. And at the time, there could hardly have been anything more topical than the recent, decisive turning point in the war in the form of the battle for Stalingrad. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Eighth Symphony, composed in less than nine weeks between July 2 and September 9, 1943, was also referred to as the "Stalingrad". Under the pressure of circumstance, Shostakovich was obliged to develop an aesthetic of ambiguity, secret hidden meanings and abysmal irony that was almost without parallel in cultural history. This work also expresses the sheer compulsion under which a musical language in conformity with the system had to be created.

Haitink first conducted a Munich subscription concert in 1958, and from then on was a regular guest with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra – either at the Herkulessaal of the Residenz or at the Philharmonie im Gasteig. This congenial collaboration lasted more than six decades. The orchestral musicians and singers enjoyed working with him just as much as the BR sound engineers. As an interpreter of the symphonic repertoire, and especially that of the German-Austrian Late Romantic period, Haitink was held in high esteem throughout the world. With him, Dmitri Shostakovich's symphonies were also always in the best of hands. Haitink’s driving principle was to make the sound architecture of a musical composition, with its complex interweaving, transparently audible; extreme sensitivity of sound was combined with a clearly structured interpretation of the score.

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Product Description:


  • Release Date: March 08, 2024


  • UPC: 4035719002140


  • Catalog Number: BRK900214


  • Label: BR-Klassik


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich


  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks