The Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andris Nelsons, won the Grammy Award Sunday for best orchestral performance for “Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11,” the latest release in its ongoing cycle of Shostakovich symphonies on Deutsche Grammophon. The cycle is three for three on Grammy wins; the two previous installments won the same award in 2016 and 2017.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Nelsons, speaking over the phone shortly after the win was announced at the Grammy pre-telecast ceremony. “I’m very happy, and honored, but mostly I’m proud of the Boston Symphony for very deeply playing and understanding these great symphonies.”
According to Nelsons, several aspects play a role in the BSO’s prowess for the symphonies of Shostakovich, but most important is the musicians’ “great nuances of powerful, intensive dramatic playing . . . not just simply loud, but a really deep and powerful sound.” He expressed his hope that the album would bring new listeners to Shostakovich’s music, which he described as one of his great loves.
Recorded at Symphony Hall during subscription BSO performances in 2017 and 2018, the album was engineered by Shawn Murphy and Nick Squire, and mastered by Tim Martyn. For their work on the album, the three were awarded the Grammy for best engineered classical album. With these wins, the BSO now holds a grand total of 11 Grammys.
The next installment in the cycle, a two-disc set including Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7, music from the Suite from “King Lear,” and the Festive Overture, will be released on Feb. 22.