Author Topic: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th  (Read 6021 times)

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m_gigena

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A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« on: April 08, 2007, 06:00:33 AM »
Shostakovich's 5th is kind of new to me. I gave it the first listening about two years ago, and since then I've regularly played it; but didn't find nothing special in it. During the last week the work seems to have catched my attention and I spend a lot of time listening to it, trying to discover motifs, their development, orchestration notes, etc. (I can not get the score... so it's a bit of a hard task).

Now to the point. This morning while listening to the scherzo I had the impression I was listening to Mahler. Not only after motiv similarities (I will give you the chance to discover which Mahler scherzo), but also in terms of orchestral sound. The same happened with the last movement, prior to the first percussion solo.

May I get some help here from other posters with more experience on Shost's 5th?

mahlertitan

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 06:41:27 AM »
yeah, I agree. I guess it's the dancing rhythm that resembles Mahler the most, it's almost like a "landler", but is stretched beyond all recognition. Exactly like what Mahler does to most of his scherzos.
Plus the solo violin really reminded me Mahler.

One big difference is that the texture of deshosta's music is much too spare to be compared to Mahler's rich music.

Offline david johnson

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 11:16:09 AM »
that scherzo always reminds me a little of mahler, too.  perhaps they just express that partcular thought similarly.

dj

Offline rappy

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 02:04:30 PM »
(I will give you the chance to discover which Mahler scherzo)

I guess it's the first!!

m_gigena

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 03:56:35 PM »
I guess it's the first!!

Good job, chap. You can choose one of these as a price.

m_gigena

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 08:38:28 AM »
Quote
I guess it's the first!!

The direct link goes to the first. But I somehow feel an indirect link to the scherzo of Mahler's second also.

Quote
One big difference is that the texture of deshosta's music is much too spare to be compared to Mahler's rich music.

I Agree; those violas are there to remind me I'm listening not Mahler but Shostakovich.




Offline jochanaan

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 07:54:05 PM »
Shostakovich was known to be fond of Mahler--not exactly a popular composer in Soviet Russia! :o DSch's Fourth Symphony is very Mahlerian, as is the Fourteenth in a much different way.  Both composers share a sense of the macabre and were haunted by thoughts of death.  (And both were magnificent orchestrators, but that's slightly beside the point. ;D)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

m_gigena

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 03:49:52 AM »
Both composers share a sense of the macabre and were haunted by thoughts of death. 

That's exactly what the end of the first mov in the 5th suggests me.  During the last minutes of the movement, as soon as everything turns into calm. It's like everything is quiet right after the storm, but you know it's only superficial, as you can feel something obscure is not just about to come, but it's happening right now. Sinister.
That speficic section reminds me of the begining of some Lovecraft tale; it looks fine, but there's something beneath that will emerge after all; and then we will all have to run away;D

Offline quintett op.57

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 09:51:44 AM »
When I got my first Mahler work (Sy7), I had already 5 or 10 works by Shosta and I found it not very difficult to see a link between both composers, not only, and not especially, in the 5.

m_gigena

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Re: A Mahlerian approach to Shostakovich's 5th
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 12:29:33 PM »
When I got my first Mahler work (Sy7), I had already 5 or 10 works by Shosta and I found it not very difficult to see a link between both composers, not only, and not especially, in the 5.

I've heard all of Shostakovich's symphonies; but really listened to only two: the 7th and the 5th.
Taking jochanaan's comments as reference (and of course your notes too; btw, the same) I'm sure there's more to this matter than just this paralellization with the 5th i've slightly done.
What caught my attention was not similarities in texture or substance; but something I saw as a more direct and explicit relation: the scherzo sounds a lot like Mahler's 2nd, as well as their 4th movements.

 

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