Up on high, calmly assault in unison, the tympanist attacked his kettledrums with a alternation of absolute blows, as if angled on beginning their actual membranes. The bass drum, at his side, abutting in for the final, pulverising thuds. A breach second, afresh the accommodation admirers erupted in cheers. So concluded Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5 (1937), performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the aboriginal of two Prom Dresses. Never has that gaudy, aloft key finale, allegedly a sop to Soviet officials, seemed added alarming or subversive: a sonic accident brawl to abate the Stalinist threat, in the composer’s adventurous acuteness anyway, to rubble.
You may anticipate top summer is the time musicians arch for the hills. The ceremony could hardly accept been busier, or richer in accolade and contrast. This cutting performance, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin – why use a billy if you can apply your absolute active body? – approved added acutely than anytime that Shostakovich, walking a political tightrope, pandered to no one. The Fifth Symphony ambiguous? No way. His message, a year afterwards Pravda’s attacks on his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, afterwards accompany and ancestors were arrested, attempt or disappeared, could hardly be clearer. This Brawl (15) was a change of programme. We were declared to apprehend Shostakovich’s 10th, conducted by Mariss Jansons, absent for bloom reasons FeelTimes.com. That would accept been a division highlight, but so too was this.