Yannick Nézét-Seguin conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin — Conductor

Program notes

Ample and somber, Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony beautifully conveys the composer’s acute sense of tragedy and bold perspective—dark, daring, full of originality and defiantly modern flourishes, it caused a scandal even before its 1936 premiere, which Soviet officials coerced Shostakovich into canceling. The symphony would not debut in front of an audience for another 25 years, in 1961, when Shostakovich declared the unchanged manuscript the best work he had ever composed—an assessment supported by the public’s rapturous response.

In 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s decade-long tenure as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal conductor came to an end as he took up the reins as musical director at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Yannick’s rapport with the RPhO, carefully developed over the years (as shown in this compelling companion documentary), shines through movingly in this masterful recording toward the end of their collaboration, focusing on the dynamic communication between conductor and orchestra.

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