Appearing in the year of Stalin's demise, it's tempting to speculate on Shostakovich's motivations and thoughts in composing his tenth symphony. Since his second run-in with the Soviet regime five years earlier, Shostakovich had lain low in terms of symphonic output. Some listeners have hypothesised that the brief and furious second movement represents Stalin, but no scholarly evidence has yet been found to support this. Whatever his inspiration, Shostakovich's tenth symphony marked a triumphant return to form upon its 1953 premiere and to this day is - along with his fifth and seventh symphonies - one of his most popular orchestral works. This 2010 recording attracted rave review and a handful of awards, marking Vasily Petrenko's successful and enduring partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
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