Rostropovich inspires powerful Shostakovich

Mstislav Rostropovich leds the London Symphony Orchestra on to an inspirational performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No.5

Composer: Shostakovich
Repertoire: Symphony No.5
Artists: London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Orchestral
Label: LSO Live LSO 0550

Rostropovich is not a sophisticated conductor but his strength is his capacity to inspire players. There’s nothing routine about this performance: Rostropovich generates a fierce intensity in the slow movement that’s very much at the work’s heart. He also insists on – and gets – vividly quiet playing in the right places. The LSO’s response is consistently impressive, above all in their closing peroration, which has genuine power rather than mere bombast.