Conductor Kirill Karabits leads the Russian National Orchestra with bass Oleg Tsibulko in a new recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar.”
The release, out today on Pentatone, continues the orchestra’s journey with Shostakovich’s symphonies and also features the Popov Academy of Choral Arts Choir and the Kozhevnikov Choir and maestro Kirill Karabits. Shostakovich’s 13th is based on Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s “Babi Yar,” with music set to five of the author’s poems that reflect daily existence in Stalinist Russia. This recording looks to underline the shared cultural and political heritage of Russia and the Ukraine by pairing the Russian National Orchestra with Kirill and Oleg Tsibulko, both Ukrainian artists.
Of a past interpretation of Shostakovich with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with which Kirill serves as Chief Conductor, The Guardian wrote, “Shostakovich’s hour-long Eighth symphony – the massive centrepiece of his wartime symphonic trilogy – loomed over the programme, and Karabits and his orchestra spared none of its unblinking, tragic power … Karabits’s sense of the first movement’s epic architecture proved faultless, and the grinding central climax, as well as the bereft cor anglais solo that follows it, were beautifully engineered.”