With each symphony released, the Liverpool cycle conducted by Vasily Petrenko grows in stature and detachment. Petrenko, 36, is the first of the post-Communist generation to approach the music without reference to past ideological wars.
So why the headline? The New Shostakovich was the title of a brilliant 1990 biography by the late English writer Ian MacDonald, who made a case for the composer as a passionate, closeted dissident against Soviet policies.
The book was endorsed by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Semyon Bychkov, Maxim Shostakovich and others who knew the composer and his environment. It became the focus of organised attacks by revisionist American musicologists, who maintain that Shostakovich was a cowed subject of the Soviet system, which he originally supported. The row rages on.
But that was then, this is 2013. Petrenko’s account of the seventh symphony attempts to save the work from its chequered history. It is my album of the week on sinfini.com.