Author Topic: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise  (Read 149502 times)

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karlhenning

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Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« on: April 25, 2007, 11:02:09 AM »
What do you feel are the strengths or weaknesses of the following sets, in particular? —

Barshai

Gergiev (a partial set, right? 'The War Symphonies')

Haitink

Jansons

Maksim Dmitriyevich

Thank you all!

« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 12:15:42 PM by karlhenning »

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 03:17:07 PM »

Jansons and Barshai are the two that I am most interested in.

I hope to hear from folks who have heard both.  :)

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 03:19:06 PM »
What do you feel are the strengths of weaknesses of the following sets, in particular? —

Barshai


Strength: entire set costs about the same as a SINGLE CD from Hyperion !
Weakness: None whatsover.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 03:24:26 PM »

What about Kondrashin?

I've heard good things.

Here's a review, including mention of some of the others in the comcluding paragraphs.

...and another review of the same set.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 05:17:37 PM by George »

Don

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 03:41:39 PM »
What about Kondrashin?

I've heard good things.

Here's a review, including mention of some of the others in the comcluding paragraphs.

Kondrashin's set is the most compelling and primitive set I've heard.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 03:52:06 PM »
Kondrashin's set is the most compelling and primitive set I've heard.

I have heard some of his work with other composers, but not with DSCH.

Do you have the Aulos issue?

Steve

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 04:03:22 PM »
Jansons and Barshai are the two that I am most interested in.

I hope to hear from folks who have heard both.  :)

Having recently gone through the heap of Shostakovich Boxed Sets, I will immediately reccomend the Jansons. This set is especially critical for the early symphonies, especially #2, which is utterly fantastic. Jansons is polished, without being distant. This is a consistently conservative set, and it shows in the ater symphonies. The Barshai, simply due to the low price, is really a must buy as well. I found his performance of #15 to be considerably more dynamic and energetic, compared to the stately recordings of Jansons in these later symphonies. I purchased them both, and reccomend that you do the same.  :)

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 04:15:36 PM »
Karl - thanks for starting this thread -  :)  I'm in the 'market' for a complete Shosty symphony set - currently own about 2/3 of his symphonic output performed by various conductors, including Haitink in Nos. 5/9 (really enjoy); but, I can't make any comments on the others, although Barshai seems to be mentioned often - looking forward to the upcoming posts -  :D

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 04:28:08 PM »
Having recently gone through the heap of Shostakovich Boxed Sets, I will immediately reccomend the Jansons. This set is especially critical for the early symphonies, especially #2, which is utterly fantastic. Jansons is polished, without being distant. This is a consistently conservative set, and it shows in the ater symphonies. The Barshai, simply due to the low price, is really a must buy as well. I found his performance of #15 to be considerably more dynamic and energetic, compared to the stately recordings of Jansons in these later symphonies. I purchased them both, and reccomend that you do the same.  :)

Well you certainly don't make my decision any easier!  :P

Seriously though, I really am excited about the Kondrashin.

I have all 15 already, with various conductors, so I probably will wait.

I have dug too deep into my check protect these past weeks, so must restrain myself.  :(   

Steve

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 04:46:51 PM »
Well you certainly don't make my decision any easier!  :P

Seriously though, I really am excited about the Kondrashin.

I have all 15 already, with various conductors, so I probably will wait.

I have dug too deep into my check protect these past weeks, so must restrain myself.  :(  

If your resolved to purchase the Kondrashin, and can only have one of those two other sets, I'd go with the Jansons. You will get an unrestrained energetic performance to complement the more conservative Jansons.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 04:56:43 PM »
If your resolved to purchase the Kondrashin, and can only have one of those two other sets, I'd go with the Jansons. You will get an unrestrained energetic performance to complement the more conservative Jansons.

So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?

Steve

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 05:05:24 PM »
So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?

On the earlier works, he stays closer to the conservative Jansens, but on the later symphonies- particularily 13-15, he is more experimental, unrestrained, and deliberate. I recently purchased the Kondrashin to contrast sharply with my Jansons, and I can say the final symphonies are remarkable. Much livier, raw, and simply more powerful. Of these three sets, I would say that Jansons is simply indispensible for the first 10 or so, while you really need one of the Kondrashin/Barshai for the later symphonies. Here it really depends, on your preference. You may find the Kondrashin too radical for your liking, and prefer a vivid, but more restrained performance. From what I've heard, coupled with your excitement for the Kondrashin, (yes I read that favourable review), I would say go for the Jansons/Konrashin.

But do not let yourself be without the Jansons. I rarely listened to the second symphony in the past, but now, it rarely leaves my desk. This is a must buy  :)

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 05:09:25 PM »
So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?

George - I feel your PAIN -  ;D  I've held off on the Barshai for a long time, waiting for other recommendations - like Jansons, so 'what' to choose; plus, are there others?  Dave  ;) :D

Steve

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 05:11:31 PM »
George - I feel your PAIN -  ;D  I've held off on the Barshai for a long time, waiting for other recommendations - like Jansons, so 'what' to choose; plus, are there others?  Dave  ;) :D

A tough decision, indeed. I've already purchased Three Sets (Kondrashin, Jansons, and Barshai), and there are still sets that are tempting me.  :)

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2007, 05:14:06 PM »

Just dug up another review of the Kondrashin set.

And for those who want to sample the entire set, start to finish, visit RussianDVD.com. I am listening to the finale of the 5th as I type.

Russian DVD has a great price, too. $79.99.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2007, 05:15:33 PM »
But do not let yourself be without the Jansons. I rarely listened to the second symphony in the past, but now, it rarely leaves my desk. This is a must buy  :)

Thanks for the info!

As long as his conservatism doesn't go as far as Haitink's does, I think that I'll be happy with it.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2007, 05:22:40 PM »
A tough decision, indeed. I've already purchased Three Sets (Kondrashin, Jansons, and Barshai), and there are still sets that are tempting me.  :)

Steve - OK, I was about to 'buy into' the Barshai set in the past, now the Jansons recordings interest me - both received 4+* on Amazon, and are about $50 or so on their Market Place, so cost not an issue.  I own Jansons in other recordings - so, would Jansons be a good 'first' choice in these works?  Thanks - Dave  :)

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2007, 05:28:06 PM »
Steve - OK, I was about to 'buy into' the Barshai set in the past, now the Jansons recordings interest me - both received 4+* on Amazon, and are about $50 or so on their Market Place, so cost not an issue.  I own Jansons in other recordings - so, would Jansons be a good 'first' choice in these works?  Thanks - Dave  :)

Sorry to butt in, but...

That depends how you like your Shostakovich, Kondrashin is more extrovert, in your face, and Jansons seems to occupy a "middle ground" between Kondrashin and the much more conservative Haitink.

From Classics today:

Jansons maintains a high standard of excellence from the first recording (Symphony No. 7) to the last with his lean, taut approach that emphasizes musical values as well as emotional impact. This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky and the dark warmth found in Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings. But Jansons' readings are compelling in their own right, reaching a level of intensity that is often gripping.

Barshai's powerful, idiomatic, and impressively single-minded set is still the one to beat, but Jansons' highly accomplished cycle is a compelling alternative, especially now at bargain price.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 05:34:10 PM by George »

George

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Offline Bogey

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2007, 05:38:45 PM »
Sorry to butt in, but...

That depends how you like your Shostakovich, Kondrashin is more extrovert, in your face, and Jansons seems to occupy a "middle ground" between Kondrashin and the much more conservative Haitink.

From Classics today:

Jansons maintains a high standard of excellence from the first recording (Symphony No. 7) to the last with his lean, taut approach that emphasizes musical values as well as emotional impact. This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky and the dark warmth found in Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings. But Jansons' readings are compelling in their own right, reaching a level of intensity that is often gripping.

Barshai's powerful, idiomatic, and impressively single-minded set is still the one to beat, but Jansons' highly accomplished cycle is a compelling alternative, especially now at bargain price.

I have not finished Haitink's cycle (only have four of them), but his will be my direction over the next few years.  Thanks for the review George.  I thought I was missing something, but Haitink seems to be the perfect fit for me based on your post.
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