Mstislav Rostropovich / London Symphony Orchestra
Although it was written at a time of great optimism in the Soviet Union with the Nazis in retreat, Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is imbued with a deep sense of sorrow and fear of the future. Whereas the authorities expected a victorius anthem, Shostakovich appeared too affected by the bloody cost of the war. Mstislav Rostropovich again proves that no other conductor is able to so intimately understand the feelings of his dear friend.
Shostakovich on Rostropovich:
"In general, Rostropovich is a real Russian; he knows everything and he can do anything. Anything at all. I'm not even talking about music here, I mean that Rostropovich can do almost any manual or physical work..."
So there you have it - this is most likely the ONLY accurate and real Russian recording of the symphony.