Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 5
Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Yvonne Naef, mezzo-soprano
Juliette Kang, violin
Hai-Ye Ni, cello
Christoph Eschenbach, piano



1 Hybrid SACD (SACD Surround 5.0 / SACD Stereo / CD Stereo - playable on all SACD and CD players); booklet with liner notes in English, French and German; luxurious slipcase


March 2008

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1109-5


Track listing

Disc 78:15
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 (1937) 52:28
1 I. Moderato - Allegro non troppo 17:37
2 II. Allegretto 5:49
3 III. Largo 16:25
4 IV. Allegro non troppo 12:23
Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, Op. 127 (1967) 25:37
5 I. Ophelia's Song 3:01
6 II. Gamayun, Bird of Prophecy 3:47
7 III. That Troubled Night... 3:22
8 IV. Deep in Sleep 3:05
9 V. The Storm 2:06
10 VI. Secret Signs 4:40
11 VII. Music 5:36

Also recommended...


TÚlÚrama magazine 'ffff'

Press review

(...) none can equal the rich and transparent surround sonics of this live recording. Polyhymnia International were responsible for the recording, and they don't stint on the surround channels; the rich sound of the orchestra's massed strings seems even better than it did under Ormandy.
John Sunier, Audiophile Audition, May 2008, Multichannel Disc of the Month

Eschenbach's live recording of Shostakovich Five with the Philadelphia is a monumental reading, seeking drama in the work's gaunt architecture. (...) an intensely lyrical performance of the desolate Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok.
Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine, May 2008

As a conductor and on piano, Eschenbach seems to be as intimately familiar with the music of Shostakovich, as he is with Mahler's works of his predilection.
Gilles Macassar, Télérama magazine, April 16, 2008, 'ffff'

Christoph Eschenbach's engaged leadership makes audible, how much the orchestra owns of instrumental virtuosity, uniformity in sound, clear intonation and cultivated taste (...). His musicianship combines objectivity and meticulousness with well-dosed emotions.
Egon Bezold,, April 16, 2008

Complete description

One Five that won... - This release in the successful recording series with The Philadelphia Orchestra and its Music Director Christoph Eschenbach features Dmitri Shostakovich's epic and monumental Fifth Symphony, which has become a signature piece of the orchestra. The Largo movement - one of the most heartrendingly beautiful slow movements written by the composer - and the bombastic Finale of this perennially popular work provide for an entrancing super audio listening experience with the world-renowned sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Officially viewed as "the practical creative reply of a Soviet artist to just criticism," this symphony was the Russian composer's mid-career coup - after his music had been politically attacked, he got back into the good graces of both communist officials and the public, who stood and cheered its première in 1937.

An added bonus of this CD is the spellbinding song cycle 'Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok' (1880-1921), making this unusual coupling a unique release; Christoph Eschenbach accompanies on piano the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef and two members of the The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra deservedly takes pride in its long and triumphant association with the music of Shostakovich, beginning with the U.S. premiere of his First Symphony in 1928, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. In fact, through 1973 the Orchestra gave the U.S. and Western premieres of seven of the composer's symphonies variously, as well as the First Cello Concerto, the First Piano Concerto, and the Five Pieces for Small Orchestra. Since Leopold Stokowski led the first Philadelphia performances of the Fifth Symphony in March 1939, the Orchestra has performed the work many times, as well as featured it on domestic and international tours, including performances in Russia under Eugene Ormandy in 1958.