Shostakovich Symphony No. 5


Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. Michael Tilson Thomas directs the San Francisco Symphony in a  performance of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 as part of it's "Keeping Score" outreach program.  Thomas also narrates a substantial documentary about Shostakovich.  Finally, there are other bonus features about the San Francisco Symphony and its recording facilities. Directed for TV by Gary Halvorson. Released  2009, disc is in high-definition video (a bit of SD  in the bonus features)  and has 5.1 Dolby TrueHD sound. Grade: NA

The recording of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 was made at a Proms event. This was no doubt a fine performance. But recording live at the Proms is always a technical challenge, and there is a problem also with DVDitis. The documentary on Shostakovich is better than the music making; but, overall, the over-emphasis on Michael Tilson Thomas himself undermines this whole project.

Here's a YouTube clip: