Temirkanov's predecessor, who is at the head of the Leningrad Philharmonic is Evgeny Mravinsky, who premiered this composition a few months after Stalin's death. Shostakovich declared that he included references to Stalin and the Cold War in this symphony, which distinguishes itself by its terrifying and freezing second movement followed by a more soothing and optimistic finale, which can evoke the dictator's death.
The way the young musicians of the Verbier Festival Orchestra follow rigorously the Russian maestro's indications is absolutely fascinating. An exemplary lesson of music and of generosity!
Verbier Festival 2011
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra