Eight years after the ninth, Dmitri Shostakovich returns to the realm of the symphony with a dark, enigmatic work. Written in Leningrad in 1953, the premiere of the work with Mravinsky conducting had a most enthusiastic reception and remains today as one of the pillars of the symphonic output of the Russian composer. He explained thus the message of the work:
I did depict Stalin [in the Tenth] … I wrote it right after Stalin’s death, and no one has yet guessed what the symphony is about … The second part, the scherzo, is a musical portrait of Stalin … [It is hard] to draw the image of leaders and teachers with music. But I gave Stalin his due, the shoe fits, as they say. I can’t be reproached for avoiding that ugly phenomenon of our reality.
With the Australian Youth Orchestra, [conductor] Alexender Anissimov gives us a dark, lugubrious vision of the tenth symphony … But the great merit of this beautiful recording is how the right balance is struck between the parts, with an inspired, vibrating and feverish interpretation that clarifies the richness of the orchestration.
Read the original website review (in French)