Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - The Observer

'I will try all my life to open the secrets of these symphonies,' says the Russian conductor Alexander Lazarev of the mightiest works of his compatriot, Dmitri Shostakovich. The 11th symphony was supposedly inspired by the January 1905 massacre in St Petersburg of workers bearing a petition to the Tsar. That Lazarev doesn't share the fashionable belief that Shostakovich was more secret dissident than state lackey does little to diminish the power and authority of this exemplary performance of a towering work.

The Observer
24 April 2005