Until recently, I just did not “get” Shostakovich. But then I found a harrowing performance of Symphony 11 (Rakhlin 1957). If you’re interested in Shosti, try the last mvt, which is the most impressive one according to the blog owner, and I agree; the first three mvts unfortunately are still full of crackles. This blog was intermittently closed in the past few days, so if you find anything of interest there, better download now before it might be too late (there are also some interesting Moiseiwitsch recordings and other goodies)
you might also want to check out his 13th symphony - equally tragic in terms of musical/life content, but moreso when one takes into account the degree of censorship that the soviet government imposed upon it
also, if you like the 13th, you might want to check out the 14th, which is basically a song cycle with orchestral accompaniment (strings and percussion). it has a very sort of grotesque quality to it, especially in the texts of some of the poems. its a very powerful piece which i think is similar to the 11th, in that it shows a lot of bleakness with some spare elements of the trademark russianness that shostakovich shows in some of his music. the chamber quality of the work makes it that much more chilling, also.