Garrick Ohlsson

The soul of Russia, by way of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic

The soul of Russia, by way of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic

It's been a good week for Shostakovich's popular Fifth Symphony. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by guest conductor Jaap van Zweden, gave a powerful reading of the work at Walt Disney Concert Hall at the beginning of the week. It was one of the finest you'll hear from any American ensemble.

However, it's hard to compete with a Russian orchestra performing the Shostakovich symphony as if they had a blood connection to it, as if the pride of Mother Russia herself were at stake.

On Thursday, Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra...

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