Martha Argerich; St Petersburg Philharmonic/ Yuri Temirkanov *****
Royal Festival Hall, 29th January 2017
“Our business is rejoicing. Our business is rejoicing.” Dmitri Shostakovich learnt when to toe the political line. After his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was denounced in Pravda as “muddle instead of music”, he hid his Fourth Symphony away in a bottom drawer and composed a Fifth which – on the surface at least – would better please Stalin and the authorities. Its première by the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky was acclaimed with a half-hour ovation. Job done. But is that finale really a triumphant victory? Or was it a cryptic message of defiance?
Read the full review on Bachtrack.