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Customer Reviews

The most consistantly brilliant Shostakovich cycle available...

Given the scope and complexities of many of these symphonies, not to mention their variety and various, perceived agendas that may or may not be present, it's no surprise that there's so little agreement as to which recordings are 'best'. There isn't, and probably never will be, a truly 'definitive' cycle of these symphonies. Haitink, however, provides a useful benchmark, and is arguably the most consistently excellent currently available. Only Nos. 4, 5, 7 & 10 are not among the finest available, with only No.4 being in any way a disappointing account, lacking as it does the fiery abandon of the finest versions. The two additional works are no make-weights. Both are vital parts of Shostakovich's vocal output. The recording quality is excellent throughout, with all but the 4th, 10th & 15th symphonies being good digital, the exceptions being very good, late analogue recordings. Highly recommended to Shostakovich lovers, especially those looking for a basis to build their Shostakovich symphony collections around. Equally highly recommended for lovers of grand symphonies.

What a bargain

This really is a bargain. The complete symphonies of Shostakovich by one of his best interpreters. Haitink's cycle has been admired by many and he really seems to get to the heart of these works. Yes, some are "difficult" and "modern" but they are always worth paying attention to. Invest now - at this price you can't go wrong.

It sounds just as complicated as it is!

I have played symphony no 10 in E minor with my own orchestra and I must say this version is the best. The music really is as complicated as it sounds and only comes together with the full orchestra. Truly amazing music, it is designed to be played really loud, we had ringing in our ears after performing it.


Born: 04 March 1929 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Bernard Johann Herman Haitink built a reputation as one of the finest conductors of the 20th Century with a wide repertory and meticulous yet warm and exciting performances. He studied violin at Amsterdam Conservatory, and began his musical career as a violinist in the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. He took conducting studies with Felix Hupka when he was at conservatory and then two Netherlands Radio Union conducting courses with Ferdinand Leitner. He was named second conductor with the Radio Union,...
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Shostakovich: The Symphonies, Bernard Haitink
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  • £89.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: 01 January 1995

Customer Ratings