Symphony No. 5 and Suite From Hamlet
Released: Jan 2004
Label: RCA Red Seal
Shostakovich's music was too "contemporary" for communist Russia, so under pressure to shape up, he published Symphony No. 5. Even so, this heavy, dramatic work is more progressive than safe, and he would likely have lost his head if not for the warm public reception at the work's 1937 premiere. This is what music sounds like when your life literally depends on it.